Memorial Day 2018

Poppies in Flanders Field

This Monday Americans will celebrate Memorial Day.  Who are we honoring?  How did the holiday come about?  Isn't Memorial Day usually on May 30th?

Students learn a little about the history of the holiday, analyze the possibilities and patterns for when it is celebrated, and study the incredible numbers of deaths and casualties that have been caused by war. While trying to make conclusions and observations about the numbers, they can't help but appreciate the terrible cost of war and the gift that those that serve in the military have given us and our country.

More eruptions on Hawai’i’s Kilauea

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The Volcano Kilauea is continuing to spew molten lava and ash on the island of Hawai'i. This volcano is on the tip of the southern most Hawaiian Island.  Is that significant?

In this activity students note the descending ages of the Hawaiian Islands and begin to understand the direction and rate of the Pacific plate as it moves across this hot spot in the Earth's mantle.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markel’s Royal Wedding


This weekend is the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markel. This will be quite an event and we can expect it to dominate the media.  What have you heard about the event?  What interests you?

The mathematics in this activity is primarily about calculating time given location and UTC relativity. But the document captures some of the pageantry (horses, antique carriages, mounted escorts) of a Royal wedding and the style of this Royal couple.

The activity:  PrinceHarry-MeghanMarkelWedding.pdf

Triple Crown hopeful at the Preakness Stakes

Justify won the Preakness - Can he win the Triple Crown?

Credit: AP Photo/Garry Jones

This past Saturday was the running of the Preakness Stakes Thoroughbred horse race in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Preakness is the second major race for 3-year old thoroughbreds to run in their effort to claim the Triple Crown of horse racing.  Justify won the Kentucky Derby on May 5th and the Preakness on May 19th.  Does he have a chance to win all three races?  In this activity we look at the empiracle probability of winning the second and third events.

The activity: Will-Justify-win-TripleCrown.pdf

Can I get your order just right?

You can order a ton of combos at Chipotle.  They advertise that there are 65,000 ways to order their meals.  Do you think that is correct?

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Who had the greatest NBA season ever?

Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook

In 2017 Russel Westbrook had one of the most dominating seasons ever, averaging a trip!e double per game.  James Harden lit up the league in 2018 and is considered the favorite for MVP.  Or what about Stephen Curry and his amazing 2015-16 season? Steph was the 2016 NBA MVP winner and his nomination was unanimous.

How do his season stack up against some of the all-time greats?  Who had the greatest NBA season of all time?  Which player contributed the greatest amount of offensive production to their team?  Start out this activity by showing the students the following data (the table shows arguably the best season statistically for each player).Ask students to consider who had the greatest NBA season ever.  What stats should determine the value of a player?  Have kids brainstorm considering points, assists, rebounds, shooting percentage, steals, blocks and so on.