On Friday during fifth period, Mr Summerton’s typically chaotic Year 8 maths class was stunned as the forty-five year old teacher revealed a fascinating algebra question with an example that would drive the Quentenworth Plateau Public School students wild with titillation.
“This was a particularly trying class,” said Summerton, “we were 45 minutes into the lesson and not only were they talking over me, but they were throwing things across the room, drawing things on the desks, some were even climbing through the windows. It was clear that the children did not want to learn mathematics on this day.”
But that wasn’t about to stop Summerton, “That’s when I had the idea: maybe they don’t want to learn about linear equations, they might want to learn about Star Wars.”
Summerton hastily wrote the question and pasted it into a PowerPoint presentation: “Luke Skywalker and Han Solo enter an awesome star fight with the empire and twenty-five enemy tie-fighters were shot down. If Luke shot down seven more fighters than Han Solo, how many did they each shoot?”
The PowerPoint was aided by a visual of Luke Skywalker that Summerton had found on Google Images.
Witnesses claim that Summerton had barely finished reading out the question when the class fell silent.
“People’s jaws just dropped. No one could fathom what had happened. Kids at the back dropped their textas and turned around to face the board, without saying a word. Everyone in that class just wanted to know how many TIE fighters Luke and Han shot down,” said Belamy Santos, a kindergarten teacher who had been passing Summerton’s classroom when the example was projected onto the whiteboard.
Sources report that not one single year eight child had left the room until they fully understood why Luke had shot down sixteen TIE fighters, and Han had shot down nine.
One of Summerton’s students explains: “Because maths… maths is like, numbers and graphs, and stuff. I don’t like maths. But I do like Star Wars. Somehow this guy had turned maths into Star Wars.” Summerton, in light of the success of his first foray into pop culture maths references, is trying to write more examples to keep the class engaged.
“If this is how they’ve responded to Han and Luke, they’re going to love when I make long division about Katniss Everdeen and that other guy in the Hunger Games.”
Experts do not believe the novelty will wear off.