Labor Day 2020

What is this holiday about?  Are we celebrating the start of school?  New cars? The end of summer?

In this short activity, students learn about the intended meaning of Labor Day as they read about its origin. For the mathematical part, they look for patterns in the history of Labor Day dates. Students then use those observed patterns to predict future dates of the holiday.

USPS needs help!

The U.S. Postal Service has been in the news lately.  Does it seem like your mail takes longer to reach where you have sent it now?  Do you wonder why there are delays and whether things will change soon?  Read about the issues and make your own conclusions.

In this activity students appreciate the incredible network of workers and machines that sort and deliver about 150 billion pieces of mail each year.  Students learn how it is all funded and try to decide how the Postal Service could earn more or spend less in their budget.  They finally get to think about whether the post office should be a government run service or a self-sustaining business.

What will supplies costs this year for going back to school?

Back to school spending is huge and students might not appreciate what it costs to send them back to, essentially, their job of learning.  In this activity students decide what equipment and supplies are necessary, estimate how much that will all cost, confer with classmates to refine their lists, and then research to find out more accurately how much it will probably cost to send them back to school.  This activity could be used for students in upper elementary school all the way to high school.  It offers an opportunity for kids to get estimating, researching, reasoning, calculating and communication skills honed for the coming year.

Ramen noodle heist

In 2018, a truck trailer was stolen from a parking lot in Georgia. The trailer was filled with Ramen noodle packages and its contents were valued at $98,000.

What do you wonder about this heist?

Could $98,000 worth of Ramen even fit in a tractor trailer?

Do the math!

Do you want to be an NBA virtual fan?

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For health concerns, professional sports now have no actual live fans. To help generate the excitement and semblance of fans, some teams use cardboard cutouts of people.  Some use Zoom screens of fans.  The NBA creates virtual fans. Actual viewers are sitting court-side in virtual seats and reacting live to the game.

How do you get to be a virtual fan?  How much does it cost to attend a game in this way? Are the fans always changing or is your seat yours for the whole game?  How many fans can be seated at a game?  Enquiring minds want to know!

How big is this hornet really?

Egad !!!!

Giant Asian hornets have now migrated to Washinton state and British Columbia.  Even though they are sometimes called "murder hornets" their stings aren't fatal.  Their stings are brutal though and they are huge.

How big do you think one of these hornets really is?  Can you draw it to scale on a grid?