Children usually dread math as a subject. Math can be interesting for children if combined with real-life scenarios and examples. Proportion is an essential mathematical topic. Children can easily understand the concept of proportion with the help of real-life examples.

What is Proportion?

Proportion denotes equality between two variables. It is an equation representing that two ratios are equal. For example, if there are two apples and four oranges in one basket and five apples and 10 oranges in another basket. The proportion is the same in both baskets. It facilitates decision-making by comparison.

Types of Proportions

1. Direct Proportion: Two variables are said to be directly proportional when an increase in one variable leads to a rise in the other variable, such as age and height. As your age increases, your height increases as well.
2. Inverse Proportion: Two variables are inversely proportional when an increase in one variable leads to a decrease in the other variable, for example, price and demand. The demand for goods increases when the cost falls and vice-versa.

Proportion in Real-life Problems

Proportion can be applied in solving numerous real-life problems like the following:1

• Filling Fuel in Cars: Many of us have to fill the gas tanks of our cars. The concept of proportionality ratios would help you solve the problem of deciding how much fuel you should get filled in your vehicles. You have to consider the proportionality ratio between the price of the fuel and the quantity of the fuel. The more fuel you get filled in your vehicle, the more money you will be required to pay for it. Similarly, if you get less fuel filled, you will have to pay less money. The fuel price will decide the proportion between the quantity of fuel and the amount of money. Let’s say the price of fuel is five dollars per gallon. If you have 30 dollars, then you would be able to buy 6 gallons of fuel. If another person has 50 dollars, he can buy 10 gallons of fuel. Though the quantity of fuel differs, the proportion remains the same.
• Shopping: Shopping decisions can be taken prudently with the help of proportions. You are inclined to buy a cheaper product. There is an inverse relationship between the price of a product and the demand for the product. For example, if the price of a box of chocolates was 20 dollars last week, but was decreased to 10 dollars this week, you could buy two boxes of chocolates for the same amount. More quantity can be purchased as the price has decreased.
• Cooking: Cooking is another real-life scenario where proportions are widely used. While cooking a recipe, it is essential to know the proportion of ingredients. Using the correct proportions of ingredients when cooking can help you prepare a sumptuous meal. It can even help you modify when needed and can help reduce food waste. For example, if you are making a custard pudding, you should add milk and cream in equal proportions. Proportions can help you understand the relationship between the quantities of different ingredients and help solve your cooking woes to a great extent.
• Homework: Every student does homework. The time a student takes to complete his homework is directly proportional to the amount of homework and inversely proportional to the speed with which the child completes their homework. For example, if a student is given five math questions for homework, they can solve them in half an hour. The next day, if they are given 10 questions, they would take one hour to solve them if their speed is constant. This is because there is a direct relationship between the number of questions and the time taken to solve the questions. But, if his speed increases, he will take less time because speed and time are inversely proportional.
• Buying Groceries: Many times, at a grocery store, you are in a fix. You cannot decide what to buy and how much to buy. Knowledge of proportions could simplify your problem. If you want to buy chicken and the price of a pound of chicken is 15 dollars, you can use proportions to make a decision. You have 60 dollars; how much chicken you can buy can be found using proportions.
• Planning Road Trips: Road trips are an exciting way to spend holidays. You often get restless during road trips and your children may be asking the ubiquitous question-“Are we there yet?” Proportions can help answer this question for you. For example, if you are going from New York to Florida, the distance between the two cities is approximately 1152 miles. If your car drives at 60 miles per hour, you can calculate the time required to cover the distance (1152 divided by 60).

Understanding the application of proportion in real-life situations would make the concept clear. This is also an interactive and fun way of learning proportions. Hope you found this article informative and engaging. You can visit Byju’s Future School Blog for more interesting articles.

References:
Guy. (2022, January 1). 24 Direct Proportion Examples in Real Life – StudiousGuy. 24 Direct Proportion Examples in Real Life – StudiousGuy. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from https://studiousguy.com/direct-proportion-examples/