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

Timeline towards racial equality

MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr - (1929-1968). American cleric and reformer. Photographed in March 1965.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday will be the holiday celebrating the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Help students learn about his work towards racial equality as they create one or two time lines.

  • One time line is about the events and accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The second timeline is about the progress made in America, so far, towards racial balance and equal opportunity.

Students need to create correctly spaced timelines, enter the events that they find most powerful, and reflect on the speed, lags, or spacing of this progress.

Cost of a gallon of gas


In 1950, one gallon of gasoline costs $0.27.  Today the prices are going down but are they as low as they were in 1950?  Or could $0.27 buy more in 1950?

In this activity we begin to understand the relative value of a gallon of gasoline.  Has the cost of gas really gone up?
Students can use our activity sheet to discuss and refine the current value of past gasoline costs.

 The Activity: Price-of-Gas.pdf

After feeling confident about the mathematics, students can complete our Historical Gas Price Excel student sheet.  For teachers, we've created a guide for using formulas and creating nice looking charts in Excel.

The days are getting longer

Daylight Hours Explorer

Clicking on this image will take you to to the University of Nebraska's astronomy simulation.

What's your guess as to how fast the number of daylight hours will change each day from now until June 21st?  Will the changes be dramatic? Will the lengthening days be only a subtle change?

Students make guesses; compute how long, on average, the change in daylight hours should be; play with a cool piece of comparison technology; and finally understand the variability in our year of daylight hours.

Losing team in the playoffs, 2015

Hey, the playoffs are about to begin.  The best teams from the leagues compete to determine the champion. Must be some really great teams! But wait, the 2014-15 Carolina Panthers made the NFL playoffs by winning the NFC South with a losing record!  How often do teams with losing records qualify for the playoffs?  Who was the worst team ever to make the playoffs?  In this activity students explore teams in the three major US sports who have made their playoffs with a losing record. How will they determine which team had the worst record if many of the teams played a different number of games? Seems like a good time for students to think about ratios, percent and proportionality in a familiar context.   Enjoy the playoffs … and the math.