Category: Math and Science

The James Webb telescope

 After launch, the telescope deployed on its 30-day, million-mile journey out to the second Lagrange point (L2). This video shows the deployment procedure, timeline, and location of the satellite during deployment. Is this telescope just a more modern telescope…

Before the holidays activities (19 ideas)

 Giant Macaroon Nutcracker – In 2013, Chef Andrew Yeo, built a giant macaroon nutcracker in a Boston hotel using given amounts of ingredients. Students try to figure out how much of each ingredient I will need to make a similar but much…

What can you tell about a snowflake?

As a snowflake falls from the sky, its crystal grows according to the humidity and temperatures of the air that it passes through. In this activity, students interpret a graphic that clarifies that growth and try to deduce what conditions…

Wind chill

Students use the National Weather System chart to gauge wind chill, examine the patterns that correlate increasing wind and/or decreasing temperatures, use wind chill numbers to estimate possible wind and temperature factors, and generally become familiar with this sort of interpolation and calculation. There’s a great high school extention that uses fractional exponents and logs to solve.

Hanukkah is almost here!

Egad, Hanukkah begins this year on Sunday evening, November 28th. I think it was in December last year. Why isn’t it always on the same date? Students look at the Hebrew calendar and appreciate the incredible mathematics involved in creating a…

End of Daylight Savings time confusion

In this activity students try to figure out how time settings will change as they move from place to place and what variables are involved in the daylight savings time shift. Day length? Latitude?

Fall Equinox 2021

Updated for 2021! Tuesday, September 22, 2021 at 19:21 UTC (which is the same as 3:21 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…

Monarch’s are flying south again

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 population data on the Monarchs has seriously…

Steepness and fall hiking

Combine colorful and cool fall hiking with a little mathematics about percent grade change. What is a steep grade? Why is it in percent? How does grade change relate to slope?

Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones

This is the season for increased cyclonic activity around the globe. Typhoons, Hurricanes, and Cyclones are measured with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy score (ACE). Does it correctly describe these events?

Just ONE hot dog

A newly released nutritional and environmentally sustainable study shows that eating just one hot dog can take 36 minutes off your total healthy lifespan. How many would you have to eat to lose a whole year of your lifetime?  How much did Joey Chestnut loose in the 10 minutes of Nathan’s annual contest?

Haiti’s earthquake and the Richter scale

On August 14th, Haiti was hit with a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake. What does a 7.2 magnitude earthquake imply? What’s a seismometer.  What is the amplitude of a seismograph and what does it mean? Use our Richter scale activity to introduce your students to logarithmic Richter magnitudes.

The new R-naught number

Now we’re plagued with the Delta variant of the coronavirus.  What was the original virus’ R-naught number and what has it become?