The deflated ball controversy makes an interesting segue into negative number line understanding.  A particular digital psi football gauge reads 0 when the ball is at a proper NFL inflation of 13 psi.  Footballs inflated under 13 psi produce negative psi readings and students have to decide the range of possible inflation levels and which reading is less inflated.  Students work with negative numbers, inequalities, and graph on the number line, all in this controversial context.  Finally, students use proportional reasoning to determine if an air temperature difference could have accounted for the deflated footballs (the math & physics has been simplified down a bit, we went with many sources boiled the math down to, you can see all the math here).  Older students can dabble in writing compound inequalities and absolute value inequalities.

Typical Super Bowl scores ????


The Super Bowl is coming up!  Are you planning to share a prediction for the score of the big game?  Don't leave it all to chance, use math to help you get a better idea of what to expect for a final score.  What is the typical score of a Super Bowl?  Let's do the math!

In this activity students study historical Super Bowl data to reflect on average (mean, median, and mode) losing scores, winning scores, and range of scores. They are asked to judge which of these central measurements seem the most meaningful and explain their reasoning.

Super Bowl Ads 2015

Budweiser's "Puppy Love" commercial from Super Bowl XLIII

Here's one more Super Bowl analysis to motivate your students: 4.5 million dollars for a 30-second ad.  That is how much a one-half minute commercial will cost during the 2015 Super Bowl game.  Wonder how much it will be in the future?

Students plot the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad over the past 48 Super Bowls. How has the cost of a Super Bowl ad changed over time? Has it grown linearly? Exponentially? or what?

Super Bowl numerals


Super Bowl numbers are appearing again. As students start getting into the current Super Bowl hype, help them to understand the notation that the sports writers and advertisements are using. Introduce Roman numerals to your class.  In this activity they learn the rules for evaluating Roman Numerals, decipher copyright dates, see how they are used today, and do some strange looking arithmetic and surprisingly easy computation. Consider starting this activity by asking students which Super Bowl is depicted in each tee shirt:   

Click on any tee shirt image to see it larger in a new window.

Do you have text neck?


What does looking down at your electronic device do to your breathing? To your muscles? To your spine curvature? To your pain?  It can lead to a condition called Text Neck.  To learn more about Text Neck and to kick this lesson off to your class, check out the video below.  After the showing the video consider having students do some measurements and make some conclusions on their own head/weight bearing postures while texting.  They can use the table below or the other methods mentioned in the activity to determine the weight of their head in their typical texting posture.

Students learn about Text Neck and analyze the data in the table below. Students can plot the data and model with a function in order to approximate the weight of a head at different angles.

Two data observations tasks of the National Mall sites

Stone_of_HopeMartin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall - Clicking on this image will show it larger in a new window. 

Activity #1 - Look at the individuals who are memorialized on the National Mall and using fractions or percents decide what you can notice about those we honor.  If you would like to show images of the monuments and memorials to your class, there is a slide show here.

The Activity: MLKandMonuments.pdf