Category: Holidays and Annual Events

Investigations that relate to regular annual events.

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…

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…

Soda Menorah

Happy Holidays! This Soda Menorah was on display in a Florida Target store.  It is made up entirely of 12-packs of Coca-Cola products. What questions do you have? Start out the activity by giving kids 30 seconds to look at…

Why does the date of Hanukkah keep changing?

Just updated for 2016! Saturday evening, December 24th, is the first night of Hanukkah this year. I think it was much earlier in December last year. Why isn’t it always on the same date? Students look at the Hebrew calendar…

Not enough mashed potatoes

Using his famous mashed potato recipe, Brian has asked students to change decimals to fractions, to calculate ingredient measures for various-sized Thanksgiving gatherings, to explain their thinking in calculating these figures and to judge how many servings could be created…

Odds of winning the Triple Crown

American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown !!! How do you calculate compound probability?  Skip the betting odds and deal only with the odds that one horse could win 3 amazing races.  June 6th is the Belmont Stakes race … the…

Triple Crown possibilities, 2015

Updated for 2017! American Pharaoh was the first horse to win not only the Triple Crown but also the Breeder’s Cup race = Grand Slam!  Never done before. Involve your students in this soon-to-be event while reviewing fractions, calculating miles…