While getting ready for a friendly with Spain, the Romanian men’s soccer team recently tried to help kids back home get excited about maths. Instead of putting the usual player numbers on their training jerseys, they substituted maths problems, the solutions to which revealed those numbers.
The Romanian players wore jerseys with their usual numbers during the match against Spain, but the children who walked out with them for pregame introductions had the maths-problem shirts on. Romania has one of the highest dropout rates, nearly 20 percent, in the European Union.
The training jerseys are part of a program that aims to use soccer to make maths more appealing to Romanian youngsters, who will also be asked to solve problems such as this one which Romania’s Claudiu Keseru had 6×5–4/2 on his shirt:
What’s his number? Don’t forget the “order of operations”.