Is the Electoral College unfair?

Show your students this really cute segment comparing how the Electoral College functions in our elections to what students think is fair and just. From the New York Times, Electoral College 101.

After showing the video consider asking your students what the grouping of students must have been for "colored pencils" to win the class electoral college?  Is there more than one possibility?  What is the minimum number of students that could have voted for colored pencils for them to still win the Electoral College.  Students then consider scenarios where a candidate wins the popular vote, but loses the Electoral College.  

How much will you make when you are president?

You can't run for President now, but heck, 2036 is right around the corner.


Being President of the United States will be quite an accomplishment and a ton of work.   But, how is the pay?  Does the job pay millions per year like the pay of some athletes, actors and musicians?

The table to the right gives presidential annual salaries back to 1789.Screen Shot 2013-09-28 at 3.20.43 PM

So, how much should you expect to make as president in 2036?

How many pies would this behemoth make?

giant-pumpkin2Let your students marvel at World Record winning giant pumpkins as they use proportions to calculate the quantities of pumpkin puree and the number of pumpkin pies that could be made from one of these giants.  To introduce the task you might show this cool time lapse video of a giant pumpkin from planting to harvest.

Electoral College vs the Popular vote

Click the map to create your own at

Let your students see how votes really count with our activity on the Electoral College.  Can someone win the popular vote in the Presidential election and still not become President of the United States?

Collecting the most candy!

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Use your student’s Halloween enthusiasm to do a study on volumes.  We’ve created an activity that asks students to calculate the volume of candy containers that are silly and intriguing.  Skip the cone and the sphere to make this activity more useful for 5th or 6th graders or include the whole activity to challenge with a little bit of percent work.

Harry Potter marathon coming

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Clicking on this image will show it larger in a new window.

In 2001, J.K.Rowling (the author of the Harry Potter series) wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The movie of this book will open on November 18th, 2016.  This will be the first in a series of three movies that are meant to take place 70 years before the Harry Potter series began.

To bring attention to this debut, iMax theaters will be presenting a solid week of the 8 previous Harry Potter movies starting on October 13th, 2016.

"Beasts" is produced by David Heyman, the same producer that created the other Potter movies.

In this activity students use the average cost of making a Harry Potter movie to estimate the cost of creating the "Beasts" movie. The task is open, in that it asks students to analyze central tendency, using either median, mode or mean.  Which is the best predictor of the cost of making this new movie?