Monster cake

Jodie Berman, a high school math teacher in Chicago, loves mathematics and loves to cook.  We've created an activity based on her Monster Cake (composed of everything that Cookie Monster loves). This recipe is published in her blog, Binomial Baker,

First, students need to find the surface area that the M&Ms cover in order to approximate how many M&Ms she needs to finish her cake.

When Brian tried to make the cake, he mistakenly added too much peanut butter.  Now all the of ingredients will need to be increased by some percent to insure that the cake maintains appropriate ingredient ratios?  Do the math!

How much chocolate is left?

In this short activity, students reason and calculate what is left of these chocolate bars.  The bars are the same size but are molded into different number of sections.  Which one has the most left-over chocolate? How can you tell?

2 Hiking Activities

Mount Washington, NH

Mount Washington, NH

How much food do you need to carry to hike the Appalacian Trail?

The AT is a hiking trail that begins in Georgia and ends on Mount Katadin, Maine. Fall is a beautiful time to be outdoors or on the Trail.  This activity is about calculating the needs and rates involved in enduring this 2,168 mile trek.

Hopefully you and your students are still enjoying the outdoors during this cooler, more colorful time of year.  Use this enthusiasm to look at the rate calculations necessary for an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker.

Chuck E. Cheese needs to shred

Restaurants have been having a hard time and Chucky E. Cheese, with their arcade games and hands on everything, has now needed to declare bankruptcy. 7 BILLION previously printed tickets now need to be destroyed before any customers can get their hands on them. It will cost 2.3 million dollars to shred those tickets. This is a cost-saving expense since the company claims that those tickets have a value of  9 MILLION dollars. Is this value reasonable?

Can you show that the Pythagorean Theorem works?

Use this activity to help your students work through the meaning of the Pythagorean theorem.

Pythagorean theorem experiences are often skill and drill work with contrived right triangle problems.

In this activity students work with a visual representation of the Pythagorean theorem in order to gain a true conceptual understanding.

Fall Equinox 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 13:30 UTC (which is the same as 9:30 am EST), will be the Autumnal Equinox.  It is the time of year when the imaginary plane that passes through the Earth's Equator would also travel through the center of the Sun.  At this auspicious moment the number of sunlight hours and night time hours are about the same over much of the Earth.  In the Northern Hemisphere we move into the Fall season.

Below is an Ecliptic animation from The Magic of Physics site.  Below is a screen shot of the applet. By clicking on the link, a new window will open and students, or the teacher using a projector, can change the position of the person on the globe and other variables to enjoy a discussion of this auspicious moment.


Click on this image to go to the Magic of Physics Ecliptic and Seasons Simulator

We have three possible activities for you to use in your classrooms after playing with the Nebraska applet.