How many baseballs are in this truck?

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Old Dominion Freight Line is offering 2 free tickets to the next 3 World Series to the person who guesses closest to "How many baseballs are in this truck?". The contest end August 31st, so do your figuring soon and submit your guesses.  You need to be 18 years or older to enter, so get help from an adult. Submit your guesses here:  Seats to the World Series Sweepstakes.

We have created a math activity so that students can reason and apply math to solve a true real world problem.  Plus, they get to refine their estimates and increase their chances of winning World Series tickets!  This could be a great way to get kids working together on an engaging problem early in the school year.  Enjoy!

How much does it cost to send you back to school?


Back to school spending is huge and students might not appreciate what it costs to send them back to, essentially, their job of learning.  In this activity students decide what equipment and supplies are necessary, estimate how much that will all cost, confer with groups or partners to refine their lists, and then research to find out more accurately how much it will probably cost to send them back to school.  This activity could be used for students in upper elementary school all the way to high school.  It offers an opportunity for kids to get estimating, researching, reasoning, calculating and communication skills honed for the coming year.

Total solar eclipse – apparent sizes

Where will the eclipse be seen?  What if you are not in the path of totality?  Total solar eclipse?  What is apparent size?  How can the moon seem to cover the sun completely?

We've created a pretty extensive investigation about the geometry of a solar eclipse and the apparent size of both the moon and sun as seen from the earth.  This activity can be done with or without trigonometry so it is appropriate for students 6th grade and higher. Get your students ready.

Perseids meteor showers coming soon

Catching a productive meteor shower can be a stunning experience.  On the evenings and mornings of August 11th and 12th there is hope of a good show.  A three-quarters moon will make the night sky too light to see the dimmer meteors but conditions are still expected to be excellent.  Let students read charts, analyze data, work with percent of moon visibility at each phase, and understand apparent magnitude in the night sky with this activity. They can stay up for the show or wake up early?  Motivate them.

Who’s going back to school?



In this investigation students calculate the percentage of the U.S. population (current and historically) that are enrolled in K-12 schools. They are asked to draw conclusions from these variations. Finally, they use their calculations to predict the number of enrolled students in their own state.

A calculation of percent increase (or decrease) of earning power compared to education level is the final activity in this study.

Drill bit fractions

Act One:  Drill bits are measured by the diameter of the bit in inches. The drill bits below are ordered left to right in increasing size.


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The numerators in the fractions have been blacked out.  What could the numerators be?  Explain your reasoning.