Will 2021 be a “prime” year?

Every birthday I consider whether I'm in the "prime of my life" ... like when I was 13 or 17 years old.  Will this new year be a prime year?  I hope so.

Don't use Google or Siri or whatever.  Just see if you can figure this out and explain your reasoning.

The activity: PrimeYear2021.pdf

Earth’s perihelion

On Saturday, January 2nd, 2021, 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 1 AU and the perihelion distance in miles and kilometers.  Students decide how much closer we will be to the Saturday on January 2nd, 2021 then on Earth's aphelion, Monday, July 5th, 2021, and figure out how long it will take to get to the Sun, leaving now in a school bus, a car, an airplane, a space craft, or in an “n” miles per hour vehicle.

The Times Square ball

It's a gorgeous ball, covered with Waterford Crystal triangles, shaped as a geodesic icosahedron.  Every New Year's Eve it descends in Times Square to mark the beginning of the new year.  Students can take a closer look at this construction and use our drawings to experiment with slicing an icosahedron in order to discover how this shape is formed.

The activity: TimesSquareBall2021.pdf

CCSS: 7.G.A.3, 7.G.B, 8.G, HSG.GMD.B.4

Family fun math activities

Point of view - With any set of cubes, enjoy building this creation using our two view-point pictures. How many blocks are in my stack?  What is the least number of blocks that I used?  The most number of blocks that I used?

Wrapping presents on the diagonal - For a hands on learning experiment, wrap a small box using any available paper in both the traditional and diagonal methods. Then compare the two quantities of wrapping paper used and decide which method uses less paper.

Pascal Coloring and modular math - In this activity students have the opportunity to color as they investigate Pascal's triangle and the many useful patterns that it shows. The triangle is explored for patterns, coloring results, and motivation to learn more about modular arithmetic (clock math).

Pythagorean Triples and coloring - We've combined a little coloring with our Pythagorean Triple pattern investigation to let your family relax while they color, view the beauty, and recognize the progression.

Winter Holidays – 18 activities

Do I have enough wrapping paper? - Students estimate the size of a gift and decide if the given wrapping paper is going to be enough.  Finally they try to create a rule for determining enough wrapping paper from the dimensions of the present. 6.EE.A, 6.G.1, 6.G.4, 6.G.A, 7.EE.B, 7.G.6, 7.G.B, HSG.MG.A.3, MP5

ChefAndrewYeo&nutcrackerGiant 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 smaller macaroon nutcracker. 3.MD, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, 6.RP.3, 7.G.1, 7.G.6, HSG.MG.A.1

Is one roll enough? - Students can use the man or the basket to s a reference as they try to approximate the size of these gifts and how much wrapping paper will actually be needed. Approximation, surface area, reasoning explanation, and diagraming! 6.G.A, 6.EE, 7.G, 7.NS, 7.RP, 7.EE, MP1, MP3, MP4

Winter solstice

Students appreciate how their latitude effects the darkness of their late afternoon location as they study the earth's tilt and the logic of daylight hours. Is latitude the central angle of the Earth?

The activity: winter-solstice2020.pdf