Math and Science

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…

Big gulp

Do you or your students love sugary drinks?  What if it were against the law to order a large sugary drink where you lived?  On September 13th, 2012 the New York City Health Department banned sodas and sweetened drinks larger…

Cicada swarmaggedon

Most of the life cycle of the Magicicada Septendecim is spent underground.  Then at 17 year intervals, these cicadas emerge from the ground, climb deciduous trees, molt into adults, mate, lay eggs, and die. Why does the 17 year interval…

Cruising

There have been a lot of cruise ship mishaps and disasters this year. While these are in the news, let your students consider how these floating cities manage their resources and which of their needs are precarious as they calculate…

Snow Days

Here are some pictures from a recent snowfall at my house.  How Much Snow Did I Get?  Have students make an estimate.  Ask them for a guess that is probably a little too low and one that is probably too…

Voyager on the edge

The two Voyager space probes are in the news recently as they approach the edge of our solar system.  Scientist can tell that the Voyager’s environments are changing.  They are receiving more high-energy particles streaming

Happy 14th B’ak’tun!

Clicking on this map of the Mayan territories will open it larger and in a new window Luckily, we’ve passed 12/21/2012 and the world is still here and we’ve made it into the start of the next Mayan calendar cycle…

Twinkies

Brian loves Twinkies and the news that Hostess is going out of business has upset him terribly.  He needs his Twinkies.  Twinkies last forever.  Right?  He’s going to buy enough for 15 years of Twinkies.  In this activity, students examine…

Humongous vegetables of Alaska

This summer I visited Alaska and truly enjoyed the majesty of the Alaskan scenerey and the many accomplished people that I met. At the time that I was there, the newspaper’s front page was filled with pictures of huge vegetables…