Johnny Lott tries to balance himself on a skateboard to show Biloxi High School students how a simple action can create patterns related to math. 12th Grader Timothy Walker said "I was like wow, that was really cool! He's using the skateboard to illustrate the X axis of movement".
Lott heads the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The math wizard loves to share his passion for numbers with young people around the country and Canada. Lott said "I try to show them my enthusiasm about it, and then let them know how I use it and what I do".
He uses fun lessons, like figuring out salaries, to demonstrate how math applies to everyday life. Lott said "If they're going to college or whatever profession they're going into, there are so many places that math is used. We want them to know that and realize that they can still take it in high school".
Eleventh Grader Steffani Miller said "I learned different ways you can use it in the real world, as far as your job, opportunities or the temperature. Also, how you can do Trig without using your calculator".
Lott says if he can inspire students to love math now, the odds look good that the number of math teachers will multiply in the future. Lott says currently, there's a shortage of math teachers nationwide, because many are retiring.
Lott is in town for a math conference at the Coast Convention Center, which starts Thursday. About 1,500 math teachers from across the Southern region are expected to attend the event.