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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)

This exercise shows a practical application of trigonometry in the aviation environment, where student pilots consider the relationship between altitude and distance to complete a landing. It requires a scientific calculator. This resource is from... (View More)

This simple example shows how algebra can be useful in the real world by exploring the question: Should Grandpa start receiving his Social Security benefits at age 62 or should he wait until age 65? This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

Computer modeling is used to estimate physical quantities that are difficult to measure, in this case, the landing shock experienced by ski jumpers. The model uses physical quantities such as the takeoff inclination, takeoff height, the shape of the... (View More)

Keywords: Numerical model
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This resource describes the slide rule as an analog computer, and uses the slide rule to demonstrate the concept of isomorphism, which is one of the most pervasive and important concepts in mathematics. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses... (View More)

This series of example calculations applies basic trigonometry to to calculate the altitude of satellites and Iridium satellite flares. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by... (View More)

Some simple arithmetic can help put the quantity of fuel in a potential oil spill - in this case 400,000 gallons - in perspective. In this example, students calculate the area that would be covered by oil from the volume measurement. This resource... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this activity, students become familiar with the orientation of shadows, their size in relation to the object casting them, and how the alignment of the Sun, the object, and the shadow tells us much about how shadows work. Supplies needed for... (View More)

Keywords: Angle

This inquiry activity supports student understanding of the cause of light, heat and shadow, how to measure the passage of time, and how to use rules and other measuring tools. Students make observations using shadows, a meter stick, and a homemade... (View More)