Image drawn by Marisa Hopkins

Disney's animated movie, Tangled, came out in 2010. We've shown students some of the Brothers Grimm's original fairy tale along with giving them a glimpse at the physics involved in the animation of Rapunzel's hair. Ratios are needed to estimate the weight of our own hair given the weight of Rapunzel's 70 feet of hair. Number sense is our goal here. Can your students convert from meters to feet and figure out the length and weight of the world's longest haired woman?


For members we have an editable Word docx and solutions.

rapunzels-hair.docx    rapunzels-hair-solution.pdf

CCSS: 6.RP.A, 7.RP.A, 8.RP, HSF, HSN

Cholera in Haiti

On January 12th of this year, there was a tremendous, 7.0 magnitude, earthquake in Haiti. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed or injured and a million people became homeless. Then on November 5th, Hurricane Thomas hit Haiti. Huge amounts of rain caused flooding in the tent cities where earthquake survivors were living. Now cholera is devastating the population.

This is a tragic series of events to happen to an already poor and impoverished country. We've gathered some of the cholera data and offered it as a way of looking at the rate and spread of the disease in Haiti. This is a difficult subject and discretion is probably necessary in assigning this.

We also have an investigation on the Richter scale.


Benoît Mandelbrot





In October, 2010, Benoît Mandelbrot died in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To honor his life and work in fractals and natural recurrence, we've created an investigation that teaches students a little about Mandelbrot's life, a little about the finite and infinite properties of fractals and a lot about programming their calculators to generate Sierpinski's Triangle.


To create a Sierpenski triangle on your TI calculator, follow these instructions: sierpenski.pdf

How many Representatives will your state get in 2011?

The 2010 U. S. Census is almost complete. One of the most important reasons for the decennial census is to determine the number of Representatives that each state should be assigned for proper representation in our House of Representatives.

In this exploration students examine the intent and wording of the U. S. Constitution as they learn how Representative apportionment is done.

  • They see the Priority formula An= P/√n*(n+1) and practice using it to determine which state should get the next Congressional seat.
  • Students learn what the ratio of voters to Representatives was originally intended to be and they calculate what that ratio has become.

This lesson goes well with U.S. history courses and will be in the news daily as the end of the year approaches. It is a topic that we all should understand.


BP and the stock market updated

The oil company, BP, has spent billions of dollars to stop and clean the oil spill, clean the coastline, and settle claims of industry loss and damage in the region. Needless to say, the value of BP stock has been changing.

In this activity students have the opportunity to better understand percent change as we track the value of BP's stock. After the notion of percent change is reviewed and practiced, students choose three companies to analyze and then create an Excel spreadsheet that models formula use and appropriate formats.

This activity was originally created by fellow math teacher, Matt Timmins, and has been revised by Leslie.


leslie-portfolio.xls        leslie-portfolio.pdf

Oil Spill!

As of May 28th,2010  it is believed that the early estimate of 210,000 gallons of oil (around 5000 barrels) per day of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico was much too low. The flow rate was revised on May 27th to be between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels per day (around 500,000 gallons) of oil.

With this updated sheet, students work with rates, percentages, proportions and averages to further understand the magnitude of this event.