Geometry

Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17th

Green, green river – They’re doing it again. In Chicago, the local plumbers union “dye” the Chicago River emerald green.  Students learn what PPM (parts per million) means and  attempt to figure out how much dye is used to sufficiently color…

Pi Day is coming!

Celebrate π in your school and in your math class with activities that demonstrate how π was derived; visually show why π makes sense; show a surprising place where π is used; increase students ability to measure and long divide; applauds the talent of…

Valentine’s Day activities

Chocolate-raspberry heart-shaped cake – Students build a heart cake and use ratio information to find the quantities of cake and icing resulting from increased dimensions. A parametric heart … with love – Students use unit triangles and manually calculate sine and cosine…

Have a heart

Clicking on the image above will show the heart larger in a new window. Canstruction® is an event hosted in more than 150 countries throughout the world to demonstrate “innovation, hunger relief  and collaboration”.  Canstruction has raised more than 40 million…

Chocolate heart-shaped raspberry cake

Students calculate base area or volume of cakes made from 2 cake pan sizes and observe how the volume of the cake changes with the increased pan size.  This is an activity intended to demonstrate that the volume increase is…

Activities for Super Bowl and Groundhog Day

Typical Super Bowl scores – Students reflect on the mean, median, and mode losing scores, winning scores, and range of scores from past Super Bowls as they try to predict this year’s scores. They decide how the next pair of scores…

Super Bowl cheesy pretzel poppers

… A little more delicious work for the Super Bowl.  Students follow a recipe that involves “cutting the cheese” block, figuring how many servings, estimating how many times they need to multiply the recipe by to make enough pretzel bites, and…

Civil rights marches, how do you count a crowd?

On October 16, 1995, perhaps a million black men gathered for the Million Man March on Washington.  This was 32 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his historic “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial to 250,000 civil…

Pre-winter holiday activities!

Christmas tree lights – Students first guess how many feet of lights would be required to decorate this tree.  The class finds the mean and median of those guesses.  Then they brainstorm and refine their guesses. Lastly they figure out how…

Wrapping presents on the diagonal

Dr. Sara Santos is a popular mathematician and speaker on mathematics.  She has worked out a method for wrapping boxes (rectangular prisms) as efficiently as possible. (Watch the video above)  Her method was written up in this article in Mental Floss and…

Do I have enough wrapping paper?

I have to wrap this box. In this problem based activity students first guess and then try to calculate whether they will have enough paper to wrap this present without taping pieces of wrapping paper together. …with this wrapping paper …

What’s wrong with this picture?

We’ve gotten used to believing what we read or see advertised.  But sometimes the clerk doesn’t get the sales discount right or something seems a little off.  Let students ponder this store menu and see if they can figure out…

Christmas tree lights – How many do I need?

Check out our Christmas Tree.  You need to buy lights for the tree.  Without calculating, guess how many feet of lights you will need.What information do you need to better estimate the number of feet of lights that you need?…

Giant macaroon nutcracker, revisited

Each year the Boston Ballet highlights the holiday season with the Nutcracker ballet.  In 2014, the Boston Ritz Carlton Hotel’s chef, Andrew Yeo and his pastry team, created a gorgeous and massive Nutcracker cake of macaroons and fondant to celebrate the…