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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) Bangladesh? This resource explores the principle of buoyancy, and is part of PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

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) Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

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) PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

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) Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

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) hill, and the vertical drop to the landing. The landing shock is calculated from the velocity of the skier and angle which he or she hits the hill. This resource describes the computer model, and describes the calculations used to compare the impact of a Nordic skier vs. an aerial jumper. The resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

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) of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

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) scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

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) is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

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) this investigation include pebbles, coins, marbles or counting blocks, a box of chalk, chalk/wipeboard and markers, overhead projector or lamp. This is lesson 4 of Threads of Inquiry: Observing the World Around Us, a series of 10 inquiry investigations focusing on the changing seasons and other aspects of our everyday existence. Each lesson includes teacher background information, Inquiry investigations are adapted to meet the developmental stage and skill level of students in three grade bands: K-2, 2-4, and 4-6. Each grade band is supported by educational strategies appropriate to the student's developmental stage, a narrative that models and describes the inquiry process applied in the lesson, and a hands-on inquiry investigation. Literacy extensions and a non-linguistic pre- and post-assessment accompany each lesson. (View Less)

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) sundial. Supplies required include flashlights, ruler, chalk, coffee can, sand, protractors, yarn and a calculator with trigonometry functions (tangent/co-tantent) This is the sixth of 10 inquiry investigations in Threads of Inquiry: Observing the World Around Us. Each lesson includes teacher background information, a narrative that models and describes the inquiry process applied in the lesson, and a hands-on inquiry investigation. Literacy extensions and a non-linguistic pre- and post-assessment are also included. (View Less)