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In this activity, students learn about the advantages of the metric system, by comparing the ease of calculation and conversion between the English and metric systems of measurement. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science -... (View More)

This math example explains what celestial objects a person can see with the unaided eye from the vantage points of Earth and Mars, using simple math, algebra and astronomical distance information. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this example, students learn how to read a topographic map and understand map contours. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and... (View More)

This is an activity about seasonal variations in day length. Learners will graph the number of daylight hours in each month in cities around the world and compare results. They will also gain an understanding of the meaning of the term equinox... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This math problem demonstrates the concept of geometric progression, through an example of a million dollar contract between an employee and an employer. Application of the concept of geometric progression to social cause activism is addressed. This... (View More)

Using the simple example of calculating the probability of reaching a traffic light while green, students are shown how to build a mathematical model using a very commonly-taught formula (sum of first n integers) to solve a rather practical problem.... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This resource explains how to estimate the global consequence of a person's actions to quantify what it is to "think globally." To lend meaning to the result, it introduces "order-of-magnitude" thinking. Three examples, on the global impact of a... (View More)

Scientists use estimates as a check on more precise measurements; estimation is an easy way to quantify early hypotheses that can be tested or checked later in formal analysis. This article describes a number of examples of the use of estimating the... (View More)

In the state of Maryland, a local politician once claimed that sea level is rising because there are too many people putting boats on the open ocean. Could that result in a significant sea level rise, perhaps even destroy low-lying nations such as... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This excercise uses "the birthday problem," a well-known probability riddle with a surprising result. It serves as a calculator exercise for students and beginning computer programmers. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and... (View More)