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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) 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 science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

This is an activity about sampling in astronomy. Learners will make a sampling window in order to estimate the number of stars in the sky visible to the unaided eye. After, they will discuss how to estimate the effect of different variables on their... (View More) counts, such as sky brightness, dark adaptation, cloud cover, etc. Please note use of a clear night sky is optimal for this activity. (View Less)

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) short drive, a little water and an hour of light, are described. 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 science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

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) answers. The activity 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 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)

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)