All-you-can-eat ice cream … 10 cents!

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All the ice cream that you can eat for only 10 cents!  Wow, that's a great deal!  How great a deal was that?Cone

The history of the Dairy Queen franchise began with this ad in Illinois in 1938.  I know that 10 cents was worth more in the past but was it worth enough even then? How much would that all-you-can-eat ice cream special cost today?  

How can Nike give away so much great stuff?

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Worldwide Nike supports many teams and athletes.  They design, manufacture, and supply gear for almost every sport imaginable. How much are those give-aways worth?  Is the company going to go broke? Probably not.  Nike is huge.

In this activity we take a look at retail prices and the actual costs of merchandise; the number of teams and athletes that Nike supports; the immensity of the company; and the fraction of Nike's business that this good publicity represents.  We think that your students will have powerful opinions about their favorite sports brands.  Enjoy!

California earthquakes and the Richter Scale

Clicking on this image of the IRIS Seismic Monitor will allow your class to see the most recent image of Earthquake activity.

After a July 4th 6.4 magnitude earthquake, California experienced 7.1 magnitude quake two days later. Many more quakes and aftershocks are expected.

The IRIS (Incorporated Research Institute of Seismology) Seismic Monitor will allow your class to visualize the most recent quakes and their magnitudes in this region.

Use our Richter scale activity to allow your students to get an appreciation of the logarithmic Richter magnitudes.  

Betsy Ross’s Star

Flag of the United States from 1777 to 1795.

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In honor of Independence Day we thought it would be fun to look at one story about the first American Flag.

The rough design of the flag was drawn by a committee of George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross in 1776.  When approached by the committee, George Ross's niece, a respected seamstress, Betsy Ross, suggested some important changes.  One change was to use a 5-pointed star to represent each of the 13 colonies. The committee objected that a pentagram would be too hard to make. Betsy demonstrated that she could create the desired star by simply folding fabric and making just one scissors cut.  So, the design was changed.

How did she do that fold and cut?

This must be a huge beach towel!

Act One: Check out this beach towel!  What do you wonder? What would you like to know?


Towel project by Misael Soto.

Miami artist, Misael Soto (pictured on the left below), created this giant art project to make a statement about people sharing territory at the beach.

In the morning he brings sunscreen, snacks, drinks, and games to share and ... lays out his towel.

How much pee is in this pool?

After chlorination, it has been hard to measure the quantity of pollutants in pool water.  A Canadian chemist, Xing-Fang Li, has found a marker for urine that chlorine doesn't disguise.

In this activity, students calculate volume of several pools, change that cubic foot volume to gallons of pool water, and try to approximate how much urine is in each pool.  You might kick this activity off with this silly clip from the 2010 movie Grown Ups, where Kevin James is caught peeing in the pool.