Math and Science

Earth’s Perihelion

On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Earth will be as close as it gets to the Sun during its orbit. Shouldn’t that make this the warmest time of the year? In this activity students become familiar with the terms perihelion and aphelion as they calculate…

Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop

On Saturday evening, December 31st, 2016 at 12:59 pm, much of the world will be watching the iconic Times Square Tower’s New Year’s Eve ball drop 141 feet to the roof of the One Times Square Building in Manhattan, NY.  This…

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…

Halloween tricks and treats – 13 activities

How many houses can you get to – It’s Halloween. Time to trick or treat.  How long will it take you to get to all of these houses?  This is a very open-ended task, counting, trick or treating strategies, distance and more.…

Columbus and navigation

The Niña Columbus Day is a bit of an enigma that used to be celebrated all through the Americas.  Columbus’s mission and arrival are now thought to have not been a noble endeavor in the way that indigenous people were treated.  Now,…

Steepness and fall hiking

Fall is a beautiful time of year for hiking. Many students will be walking in the woods and mountains to enjoy the colorful leaves and the cool weather outside.  Let them combine what they are doing with their families and…

Fall equinox

Thursday, September 22nd of this year will be the Autumnal Equinox.  It is the time of year when the imaginary plane that might pass through the Earth’s Equator would also travel through the center of the Sun.  At this auspicious…

Swimsuits – a drag?

To win in Olympic swimming, contestants have to be incredibly fit and have marvelous endurance and technique.  Do they also need to consider the science of their motions and their equipment? Could your swimsuit, swim cap and goggles be holding…

August meteor showers

Conditions will be favorable for excellent views of the Perseids meteor showers in early to mid-August.  Let students read charts, analyze data, work with percent of moon visibility at each phase, and understand apparent magnitude in the night sky with…

10 Million nematodes

Grubs are killing my grass.  I don’t want to put poison into the ground.  What can I do? There are tiny roundworms called beneficial nematodes. They can kill destructive soil pests in your garden and lawn.  They are tiny worms that…

Lighting the Olympic Torch

The 2016 Summer Olympic games won’t begin until on August 5th of this year but already the Olympic Torch has been lit and is traveling to the game’s site, Brazil, by 12,000 relay participants. Watch the lighting video and wonder…

The longest day

On Monday, June 20th, at 06:34 pm EST, the Earth’s North Pole will be tilted as far towards the Sun as it will ever be in the year.  This marks the longest day of the year and the summer solstice in the…

Should I replace my toilets?

I’m trying to be more savy about wasting our resources.  I have really old fashioned toilets and I’m trying to figure out if I should invest in saving water.  Can you help me? The activity:  PottyTalk.pdf CCSS: 8.F.3, 8.F.4, 8.F.5, HSF.IF.B.4, HSF.IF.B.6, HSF.IF.C.7, HSF.IF.C.9, HSF.LE.A.2, HSF.LE.B.5

What’s my angle?

I’m going to help save the planet by adding solar panels to my roof! Should I tilt the panels on my roof to more accurately aim towards the Sun? If so, at what angle should I use? Should I be…

Figuring planting dates

It’s time to get ready to plant my garden again.  But here in Boston we have to start our seeds indoors to give them a head start before we can put plants outside. How should I figure out when to plant my…