Author Archive for Leslie

Olympic reflection

After the games Thomas Ulsrud, Norwegian curler;  Eun-Ryung Sung, South Korean single luge  Dachhiri-Sherpa, Nepalese cross-country;  Jason Brown, U.S.figure skating The 2014 Winter Olympics have concluded.  Which country had the most successful olympics?  Three students can’t agree.  Have your students…

Too early in the day for so many choices

Dunkin Donuts is promoting variety in their mixtures of hot chocolate.  Let your students try to figure out how many ways they can create their drink as they calculate the number of combinations possible in our story of stopping for…

Highest grossing movies

Let your students develop their own ideas about compounded percent change while they have the opportunity to speak about the upcoming Academy Awards show. Worldwide box office income is compared for the top ten grossing movies of all time. Is…

Curling

Friction, score-keeping, trajectory and weirdness are the main concepts in this activity.  Curling is not a well-understood sport but the science and strategy are easily understood and enjoyed. Let your students watch this video to get a feel for the…

Where have all the flowers … come from?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017, is Valentine’s Day.  Start the “love hoopla” with this graphic on where all of the flowers come from.  This is part of the graphic from http://visual.ly/valentines-day-facts What fraction of these roses are shaded red?  The red ones…

Scoring Olympic ski jumping

The scoring rubric for each of the Olympic events is intended to eliminate the possibility of scoring bias from the judges.  Let your students learn more about the scoring of one event and decide whether it seems fair or not.…

The winter Olympics torch trip

Olympic torches are being carried to the deepest lake, the highest European mountain, into space, and around the host country to bring the Olympic flame to Sochi on February 7, 2014. In this activity, students can witness the Torchs’ trip…

Asian giant hornets

Vespa mandarinia In AnKang, China in Shaanxi province, giant hornets have injured and killed scores of people.  Government officials are now trying to eradicate these insect’s hives and have destroyed about  4,500 nests so far.  The Asian giant hornet is the…

Nobel prize in physics 2013

François Englert and Peter W. Higgs François Englert and Peter W. Higgs were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 for the theory of how particles acquire mass. In 1964, they proposed the theory independently of each other. In 2012,…

Really old “New Math”

Tom Lehrer is a singer, songwriter, satirist, pianist and mathematician who has written some wonderful songs. In 1959 he wrote a song called “New math”.  At that time, much of mathematics teaching was reoriented.  Parents of elementary school aged children…

California wildfire

Wildfires are burning in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Yosemite National Park.  In this activity we ask students to examine various maps of this California region, calculate distances using map scales, draw conclusions about the nature of fighting fire here,…

Bits, bytes, and nibbles

Clicking on the image will show it larger. I’m not very good at understanding how large my device capacities are and how big the files that I want to download are in comparison.  I decided to practice with the numbers…

Raising the bar

Recovery of the treasure from the 1941 sinking of the S.S. Gairsoppa was recently completed and a huge amount of silver was brought up from the ocean floor.  Let your students get a feel for this adventurous career as they calculate…

Crop circles

In the travel section of our newspaper this week, Wiltshire, England was a recommended destination to see Stonehendge and crop circles  ………..  crop circles? Many of the crop circles in England appear mysteriously overnight.  They are often huge but appear…

Methane math

Carbon dioxide and methane are our two most prevalent human-contributed greenhouse gases.  This holstein cow is one of many huge contributors to our methane production.  Let students calculate percentages of greenhouse gas production from cars, cows, and people.  We’ve got…