Math and Science

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…

How much did the temperature change in Boston?

It’s been a crazy winter of extremes through much of the United States. Here’s an article, from the February 17, 2016 Boston Globe Newspaper by Matt Rochereau, with the degree swing whited out.  Have your students determine the temperature increase…

How much snow is that?

Start out this activity with: What do you notice? What do you wonder? How many inches of snow produced that pile?  How much snow in volume is on top of the car?  How much could that snow weigh? Students try to approximate…

Windchill

When the weather person talks about wind chill did you ever wonder how they calculate that number?  In this activity students use the National Weather System chart to gauge wind chill, examine the patterns that correlate increasing wind and/or decreasing…

Hexadecimal colors or paint by number

Probably most of us have heard of and even used hexadecimal color codes. Don’t you wonder why their number descriptions really make sense? In this activity we first ask students to color in our Golden Spiral by giving them the…

Why does the date of Hanukkah keep changing?

Just updated for 2016! Saturday evening, December 24th, is the first night of Hanukkah this year. I think it was much earlier in December last year. Why isn’t it always on the same date? Students look at the Hebrew calendar…

Rescue of the Chilean miners – The 33

On August 5, 2010, the San Jose copper-gold mine near Copiapó,Chile collapsed stranding 33 miners in a large cavern more than 2,000 feet below ground. A new movie has just been released about the incident, The 33. All of the…

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 quantities that they are familiar with.  Simply enjoy the season with this…

Weather extremes

This year has brought torrential rains to Texas after years of severe draught. February was the coldest month ever in much of the midwest and Northeast US.  Pakistan and India have experienced extreme and deadly heat waves. Use the open number line and…

The spread of 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 a wonderful map that you can…

What’s with the plovers?

Cute little birds.  Piping plovers are presently nesting on beaches along the Atlantic coast. Consequently beaches are often roped-off or closed to protect their nests and chicks.  Is this conservation working?  What should the numbers be like after so many…