Math and Food

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…

Souvenirs and concessions

Brian has introduced systems of equations with easy, motivating problems that deal with the cost of stadium purchases for food or souvenirs. These systems of equations puzzles are so intuitive that very little support will be needed

Father’s Day blueberry surprise

Sunday is Father’s Day and there is still time to have a tiny fraction review in the guise of celebrating Father’s Day. This is a short activity that asks students to change the amounts in a blueberry muffin recipe to…

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…

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…

Chocolates

Valentine’s Day is here again and that means candies and chocolate.  In this activity students approximate the volume (through finding surface area) of three different pieces of chocolate.  The chocolates are shaped like a heart, a bat (for Halloween) and…

Whole lot of cookies

Jennifer Fairbanks from Hopkinton, MA sent us this picture of the cookies that she baked in 4 hours using 13 eggs and 5 cups of sugar. Do you see some math here?

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…

Is this possible?

Brian Shoemaker, a Newton, MA mathematics teacher, saw this Dunkin Donuts Mazda traveling down the road.  He wondered if that size coffee cup could really have coffee in it.  Wouldn’t the car rock back on its rear bumper? How much…

Starbucks, 2012

Time to give students some authentic math on a topic they will surely be interested in … Starbucks.  We ask and answer a few questions in this activity. About how many drinks does Starbucks sell in a year? If I…

Humongous vegetables of Alaska

This summer I visited Alaska and truly enjoyed the majesty of the Alaskan scenerey and the many accomplished people that I met. At the time that I was there, the newspaper’s front page was filled with pictures of huge vegetables…

Gumballs galore

Show Brian’s video to your class and let your students cogitate, estimate and calculate. Sheet with only a still shot from the video and room for figuring: gumball-image.pdf We have a solution of sorts for members below: gumball-solutions.pdf CCSS: 8.G.9,…

Largest Cup of Coffee Ever!

The world record for the largest cup of coffee was recently set (see picture above).  In this activity students explore scale, similar figures, volume and measurement as they estimate the amount of coffee that this record-sized mug holds.  Students also…

Chocolate Milk and Mixture Problems

Chemistry experiments and algebra problems sometimes ask students to create percent mixtures or to change a mixture into a stronger or weaker solution by adding more of an ingredient. Students often have difficulty isolating the key concepts involved in this…