Data and Probability

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…

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…

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…

Patriots’ Day

Monday, April 17th, 2017, is the official holiday this year to remember the Battles of Lexington and Concord that began the Revolutionary War 242 years ago in 1775. (The actual date was April 19th, 1775) Both Paul Revere and the…

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…

Voyager on the edge

The two Voyager space probes are in the news recently as they approach the edge of our solar system.  Scientist can tell that the Voyager’s environments are changing.  They are receiving more high-energy particles streaming

Monopoly 2014

In the board game, Monopoly, does a property’s distance from GO correlate to its rent when you land on it ? Using Brian’s spread sheet (list of properties, distance from GO, rent and rent with properties) students create scatter plots.…

How many movies can you see in one day?

Robert Kaplinsky at robertkaplinsky.com shared this lesson idea with Yummymath. With plenty of days off from school coming up you plan to spend a day at the movie theater.  You want to see as many movies as possible. Create a…

Twinkies

Brian loves Twinkies and the news that Hostess is going out of business has upset him terribly.  He needs his Twinkies.  Twinkies last forever.  Right?  He’s going to buy enough for 15 years of Twinkies.  In this activity, students examine…