Category: Math and Science

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…

Fall Equinox 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 13:30 UTC (which is the same as 9:30 am EST), will be the Autumnal Equinox.  It is the time of year when the imaginary plane that passes through the Earth’s Equator would also travel through the…

Extreme weather 2020

Use the open number line and our lists of temperature extremes to make signed number operations and absolute value sensible. Students compare record high and low temps (integers) and use absolute value in order to always find the positive difference. Subtraction of negatives becomes obvious in this lesson.

How big is this hornet really?

Giant hornets have now migrated to North America. In this activity students take the hornet’s measurements in millimeters and try to draw the hornet, life-sized, on centimeter graph paper. They learn a little more about the new beast.

String design, ellipses, and orbital mechanics

Artistic way to encourage understanding of a conic section.  Participants physically build an ellipse by choosing two foci and sketching the figure through a loop of string. While stitching an elliptical string design they puzzle about varying the foci spread and the loop length to create more extreme ellipses and are intuitively introduced to the measurement of eccentricity.

Coronavirus trends

Johns Hopkins University of Medicine has a team that maintains current maps and data about the Coronavirus.  They record changes and show trends of the virus activity throughout the World. Enjoy exploring the data, all of the visual mappings, and…

Summer Solstice, the longest day

Saturday, June 20th, 2020 Sunrise on summer solstice at Stonehenge On Saturday, June 20th, at 5:44 pm EDT, the Earth’s North Pole will be tilted as far towards the Sun as it will ever be in the year.  This marks the…

A socially-distanced party

I risked infecting my friends or becoming infected myself by throwing a very small socially-distanced party.  I served baked appetizers, disinfectant wipes, and latex gloves.  I cooked while wearing clean latex gloves and served the appetizers with a spatula.  The…

May 27th launch from the U.S. again

NASA and SpaceX plan to launch humans from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to the International Space Station for the first time since July 11, 2011. This is a more current events activity than mathematical.

The AQI – Air Quality Index

See how much particulate matter, low-lying ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide there is in the world’s atmosphere at any one time and place. Students learn about the scale of the AQI and search for some of the contributors to unhealthy locations.

Microns and Masks

How big is a coronavirus cell? How big is a micron? How well do these masks protect against the virus? What can you observe about the size of particles mentioned? Why are we wearing masks?