Data and Probability

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,…

How much caffeine?

We stumbled upon this interesting caffeine infographic at visual.ly. Wonderings? How many McDonalds coffees do I need to get the same amount of caffeine that I would get in a Starbucks coffee? What is the whole circle worth?  How do you…

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,…

U. S. Open Tennis Tournament

The U.S. Open is about to get underway in New York City.  It is possibly the biggest tennis tournament in the world. We’ve updated our numbers and focused on the prize money.  As students ponder the amounts for various wins,…

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…

Shooting stars coming soon

Conditions will be favorable for excellent views of the Perseids meteor showers in early 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 this…

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…

Spread of lyme disease

With the start of summer and wonderful outdoor activities, it might be good to examine the growth of Lyme disease occurrences in the United States.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  has a wonderful map that you can…

Jock tax

Professional athletes make a lot of money.  Aaron Rodgers recently signed a five year, 110 million dollar contract with Green Bay Packers!  Did you know that professional athletes have to pay an amazing amount of federal, state, and sometimes even…

Big gulp

Do you or your students love sugary drinks?  What if it were against the law to order a large sugary drink where you lived?  On September 13th, 2012 the New York City Health Department banned sodas and sweetened drinks larger…

Season 12, American Idol

Let your student study American Idol viewing figures over the last eleven seasons. Students compare historical season premier and season finale audience size in several different ways to determine which event has had higher viewership.

Lifespan of a meme, the Harlem Shake

Five friends who skateboard and video tape made up a strange dance one afternoon and filmed it on February 2nd.  Now the whole world knows them and their dance … weird.  This is the story of the life of a…

Cruising

There have been a lot of cruise ship mishaps and disasters this year. While these are in the news, let your students consider how these floating cities manage their resources and which of their needs are precarious as they calculate…