Category: Math and Science

The spread of Ebola in West Africa

Ebola is a deadly virus that has reappeared in Western Africa in an outbreak that began in February of this year.  We’ve supplied you with weekly statistics on the progression of this disease and given you and your students a…

Typhoon Neoguri approaching Japan

A powerful typhoon has just passed Okinawa, Japan’s southern-most prefecture, and is expected to continue to be very powerful.  What is a typhoon?  How are they scaled? In this activity students become aware of various storm rankings and severity as they…

Cost of light bulbs – updated!

Finally updated! There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the cost to consumers of CFL and LED bulbs and the savings in energy and money that could be realized. Let your students “do the math” and realize some of the…

The Blue Marble

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, is Earth Day. Use this activity to demonstrate the various mappings of our 3-d Earth to a 2-d piece of paper. Students compare maps with this famous photo and check to see which characteristics are maintained and…

Shamrock Shake

For Saint Patrick’s Day add a little nutrition math to your celebration.  In this post we look at calories, carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and proteins to decide what would be left for our day’s meal allotment after we had lunch and…

Curling

Friction, score-keeping, trajectory and weirdness are the main concepts in this activity.  Curling is not a well-understood sport but the science and strategy are easily understood and enjoyed. Let your students watch this video to get a feel for the…

The winter Olympics torch trip

Olympic torches are being carried to the deepest lake, the highest European mountain, into space, and around the host country to bring the Olympic flame to Sochi on February 7, 2014. In this activity, students can witness the Torchs’ trip…

Amazing LEGO Fireman

At the Toys R Us store, I saw an amazing LEGO creation.  He was a life-sized LEGO fireman with a walkie-talkie, an oxygen tank and even an oxygen tank gauge.  He must have taken a long time to build. Let…

Asian giant hornets

Vespa mandarinia In AnKang, China in Shaanxi province, giant hornets have injured and killed scores of people.  Government officials are now trying to eradicate these insect’s hives and have destroyed about  4,500 nests so far.  The Asian giant hornet is the…

Nobel prize in physics 2013

François Englert and Peter W. Higgs François Englert and Peter W. Higgs were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 for the theory of how particles acquire mass. In 1964, they proposed the theory independently of each other. In 2012,…

How much caffeine?

We stumbled upon this interesting caffeine infographic at visual.ly. Wonderings? How many McDonalds coffees do I need to get the same amount of caffeine that I would get in a Starbucks coffee? What is the whole circle worth?  How do you…

California wildfire

Wildfires are burning in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Yosemite National Park.  In this activity we ask students to examine various maps of this California region, calculate distances using map scales, draw conclusions about the nature of fighting fire here,…

Bits, bytes, and nibbles

Clicking on the image will show it larger. I’m not very good at understanding how large my device capacities are and how big the files that I want to download are in comparison.  I decided to practice with the numbers…

Raising the bar

Recovery of the treasure from the 1941 sinking of the S.S. Gairsoppa was recently completed and a huge amount of silver was brought up from the ocean floor.  Let your students get a feel for this adventurous career as they calculate…

Methane math

Carbon dioxide and methane are our two most prevalent human-contributed greenhouse gases.  This holstein cow is one of many huge contributors to our methane production.  Let students calculate percentages of greenhouse gas production from cars, cows, and people.  We’ve got…