Holidays and Annual Events

Investigations that relate to regular annual events.

Consumer Spending 2016

We spend a lot of money as consumers in the U.S. In this activity we look at historical data to see if there are any patterns in our spending.  How does our holiday spending show up in these graphs?  What…

Black Friday, football, and giving

Construction This is a 3-act activity about an annual display of creativity, engineering, and design as artists contribute cans of food for the shelters and food banks of their city.  Students analyze, look for patterns, discuss solutions, and finally quantify the number…

Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade, 2016

As we get ready for next week’s holiday, students can study a map of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, describe, measure and hypothesize why this route was chosen and then calculate how long each band will be marching and…

Veterans Day

As Veterans Day approaches, let your students learn about and appreciate the meaning of the day by analyzing the powerful data that we’ve supplied. Students can use our numbers to create questions for their classmates … questions that can emphasize the tremendous gift…

Halloween tricks and treats – 13 activities

How many houses can you get to – It’s Halloween. Time to trick or treat.  How long will it take you to get to all of these houses?  This is a very open-ended task, counting, trick or treating strategies, distance and more.…

Which is the best candy deal?

Clicking on any of the above images will open the image larger in a new window. We found big mixed bags of candy at really good prices … we think. Students are asked to decide which would be the best deal…

Collecting the most candy!

Use your student’s Halloween enthusiasm to do a study on volumes.  We’ve created an activity that asks students to calculate the volume of candy containers that are silly and intriguing.  Skip the cone and the sphere to make this activity…

Labor Day, 2016

In this short activity, students learn the meaning and history of Labor Day as they look for patterns emerging from the Labor Day dates over the past years. Students then use those observed patterns to predict future dates of the…

August meteor showers

Conditions will be favorable for excellent views of the Perseids meteor showers in early to mid-August.  Let students read charts, analyze data, work with percent of moon visibility at each phase, and understand apparent magnitude in the night sky with…

Lighting the Olympic Torch

The 2016 Summer Olympic games won’t begin until on August 5th of this year but already the Olympic Torch has been lit and is traveling to the game’s site, Brazil, by 12,000 relay participants. Watch the lighting video and wonder…

The longest day

On Monday, June 20th, at 06:34 pm EST, the Earth’s North Pole will be tilted as far towards the Sun as it will ever be in the year.  This marks the longest day of the year and the summer solstice in the…

The Boston Marathon

Monday, April 17, Patriot’s Day, is the next running of the Boston Marathon. What do you know about marathons? What do you know about the Boston Marathon? How long do you think the marathon is? Make your best guess. How…

Giant chocolate bunnies

Topper Chocolate Easter Bunny from Dilettante Chocolates. What can you deduce about the bunnies (pictured in this activity) from the descriptions given … solid? hollow? cost per pound? cost per height? Anything else? The activity: GiantChocolateBunnies.pdf

It’s Girl Scout cookie time

Have you ever wondered how the income from Girl Scout cookie sales is distributed to the individual girls, to their Troops, or to the organization? In this activity students learn a little about the organization of the Girl Scouts, try to…

Data on the National Mall sites

Activity #1 – Look at the individuals who are memorialized on the National Mall and using fractions or percents decide what you can notice about those we honor.  If you would like to show images of the monuments and memorials to…