How long would it take to build this underground house and pool?

The building of this underground house and pool was presented by Cayote Person and his partner, Mark Lavins, on their youtube channel, "Brave Wilderness." At the business partners post animal and adventure films to promote education and conservation.

Here a man, using very primitive tools, builds this underground home and swimming pool.

  • Watch the movie and then take a wild and crazy guess about how many hours this man must have spent in its creation.
  • Work with your group to devise some ways that you might calculate a more accurate approximation.
  • Be ready to explain your assumptions, method and conclusion to your class.

Greatest March Madness program

We are nearing the finale of this year's March Madness tournament. Which NCAA teams must have the best basketball programs since they consistently do well in this tournament?

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Based on this data, which do you think is the greatest March Madness program ever?

Are baseball games getting longer?

March 28th was opening day for this year's Major League Baseball season. It's a good time for some Major League Baseball math! In this activity students think about how major league game lengths have changed over time. Is there a need to pick up the pace of the game?  Have baseball games been getting longer?  If so, why is that?

Students examine two scatter plots and a line graph to decide how the average length of time for an MLB game has changed and by what rate.  As they analyze the causes for that change they observe the average number of pitchers per game, historically, and how the ratio of foul balls to balls in play has changed.

Before handing out the activity consider starting by asking student how long they think a Major League Baseball game takes to play.  Do they think games are taking longer or are they getting shorter and why?

Here is a great video that you and your class can watch right after the first scatter plot. Just be aware, that at 2:04 in the video, David Ortiz is bleeped out saying "bullsh__".

Big bucks

Mike Trout just signed a huge contract.  He'll be receiving $430 million dollars playing for 12 years with the Los Angeles Angels.  Let's take a look at some of the other big world sports' contracts from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB and European Football (what Americans call soccer).  We often hear about big player contracts. Who makes the most per year? Per game? What sports?

In this activity, with a twist on unit rate, students find the average pay per year or "unit rate of pay" for a collection of highly paid athletes. Students think about unit rate; proportionality; slope; the relationship between multiplication and division; and the contrast between the pay of various sports.

Does seeding really matter?

March Madness is the big 68 team college basketball tournament that takes over our TV viewing during the weekends of March. School and office friends are filling out brackets.  Engage your students in percents as they get excited about March Madness. Is getting a higher seed really an advantage?  Use 30 years of data to help determine for which seeds it makes sense to pick an upset.  Finally, students determine a general strategy for picking games in the first round.