Category: Math and Science

Why are the dates of Hanukkah different every year?

Tuesday evening, December 12th, is the first night of Hanukkah this year. I think it was much later in December last year. Why isn’t it always on the same date? Students look at the Hebrew calendar and appreciate the incredible mathematics…

It gets dark so early now

Students appreciate how their latitude effects the darkness of their late afternoon location as they study the earth’s tilt and the logic of daylight hours. Is latitude the central angle of the Earth? The activity: winter-solstice2017.pdf

Daylight saving time dilemma

Daylight Saving time is controversial, disruptive, useful, saves energy, increases energy consumption, is inconvenient …  Imagine locations where neighbors are differentiated by one or two hours and experiment with how the hours of those neighbors will be different. DaylightSavingTimeHours.pdf

Vampire bats

Ooooo. Scary!  This is a slightly didactic activity on vampire bats.  We’ve given lots of interesting metric and customary unit facts and asked students to relate those sizes to more familiar objects.  Simply enjoy the season with this slightly creepy activity…

Water saving toilets

    How much water is used? How much water could be saved? The activity: PottyTime-SavingWater.pdf CCSS: 5.MD.1, 5.NBT.7, 6.RP.3, 7.RP.3, MP2

Hurricanes

The official Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1 and doesn’t end until November 30th. Now Hurricane Irma is approaching Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and Florida. Encourage your students to join the conversation, knowledgeably, by using our activity.  Students…

Have you seen more monarch butterflies lately?

In mid-August and early September, the Monarch butterflies begin their annual migration south to more moderate climates to hibernate and overwinter.  It is an incredibly long migration and fascinating to observe.  But, the populations data on Monarchs has seriously changed…

Total solar eclipse – apparent sizes

Where will the eclipse be seen?  What if you are not in the path of totality?  Total solar eclipse?  What is apparent size?  How can the moon seem to cover the sun completely? We’ve created a pretty extensive investigation about…

Perseids meteor showers coming soon

Catching a productive meteor shower can be a stunning experience.  On the evenings and mornings of August 11th and 12th there is hope of a good show.  A three-quarters moon will make the night sky too light to see the…

Giant iceberg breaks off from Antarctica

The crack in Antarctica’s Larson C ice shelf has been growing for years.  Has the speed of the rift’s growth stayed about the same? increased? decreased?  Do the math and discuss the implications. The activity:  ice-sheet-rift.pdf

Saving Water Bottles

In my grocery store they now have these new water bottle refilling stations. You can simply refill your own container with water instead of buying a six-pack of bottled water. Do you think that this is a good idea?  Are they…

How much pee is in that pool?

After chlorination, it has been hard to measure the quantity of pollutants in pool water.  A Canadian chemist, Xing-Fang Li, has found a marker for urine that chlorine doesn’t disguise. In this activity, students calculate volume of several pools, change that…

Tick time and Lyme disease

Deer tick

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 published maps for all of the…