Author: Leslie

MAVEN arrives at Mars

Recently the MAVEN spacecraft (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) that was launched on November  18, 2013 reached Mars and attained an elongated orbit around the planet.  How does someone figure out how to do that?

Ebola updated

Ebola has continued to gain strength and devastate regions of West Africa.  WHO (World Health Organization) updates their data frequently and the progress and lack of control of the epidemic is very concerning. We’ve gathered the present numbers again for…

Saffron and paella

In order to cook Paella (a delicious Spanish rice dish) I needed to buy Saffron spice.  It was hugely expensive.  So, I’ve decided to start a business of growing saffron and becoming immensely wealthy.

The spread of Ebola in West Africa

Ebola is a deadly virus that has reappeared in Western Africa in an outbreak that began in February of this year.  We’ve supplied you with weekly statistics on the progression of this disease and given you and your students a…

Typhoon Neoguri approaching Japan

A powerful typhoon has just passed Okinawa, Japan’s southern-most prefecture, and is expected to continue to be very powerful.  What is a typhoon?  How are they scaled? In this activity students become aware of various storm rankings and severity as they…

Three great World Cup activities

World Cup ranking – Students explore the ranking formulated from each team’s previous 4 years of play in their geographical divisions.  The formula is complex and weighted. Is it fair?  5.OA, 5.NBT, 5.NF.B, 6.NS.B, 6.EE, 6.SP, 7.EE, 8.F, 8.SP, HSA World…

World Cup – How many ways?

present world cup scores How many games are played in each round of the World Cup?  In the opening round each of the four teams in a group must play each other (round robin format).  From then on each round…

California Chrome’s Lineage

Alas.  California Chrome did not win the Triple Crown.  Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes. This Saturday is the final race of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing … the Belmont Stakes. No horse has won the Triple Crown since…

The growth of Godzilla

Image from Kris Holt: http://www.policymic.com/articles/76357/the-scary-way-godzilla-has-evolved-through-the-years-in-one-chart The new Godzilla movie is out at theaters.  His first appearance was in 1954 when he was created in Japan and crushed Tokyo.  He appears to have grown.  Do the film-makers have him growing appropriately?  Lets…

An ounce of cola

Which is more expensive; gasoline? milk? or cola?  Students calculate the per ounce cost of each of these liquids in a story about a man doing errands.  After finding the per ounce price, students find costs of gasoline, milk and…

The Blue Marble

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018, is Earth Day. Use this activity to demonstrate the various mappings of our 3-d Earth to a 2-d piece of paper. Students compare maps with this famous photo and check to see which characteristics are maintained and…

Mom’s matzo ball soup

Passover begins this year on Friday evening, April 22nd, 2016, with a Passover seder dinner. Passover is one of the three high holidays in the Jewish calendar and celebrates the Exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt. Let your students…

Green, green river

During the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago, the local plumbers union dyes the Chicago River emerald green. Students learn what PPM (parts per million) means and  attempt to figure out how much dye is used to sufficiently color the…

Shamrock Shake

For Saint Patrick’s Day add a little nutrition math to your celebration.  In this post we look at calories, carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and proteins to decide what would be left for our day’s meal allotment after we had lunch and…

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…