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When Doing Math, Reach for the Stars January 6, 2019

Posted by Media4Math in math.
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screen shot 2019-01-06 at 12.47.17 pmThe students at the Weiss School in Florida were part of an incredible launch of a new satellite. Can you think of a better way to motivate students to embrace STEM in general and math particular?

The satellite will be used to measure the impact of extreme temperatures on bacteria.

To learn more about this project, go to this link.

Also, the Weiss School itself has a page on their Web site dedicated to updates on the project. Click this link. In particular, here is the link to the live satellite data. Click this link.

Share this with your students. with the goal of encouraging a mathematical mindset. Here are some key ideas to highlight:

  • There are no limits to what you can do in math and science.
  • You are never too young to learn or too old to learn.
  • Math can be a team endeavor.

Finally, as a way of connecting specific math concepts to this project, share with the students the following ideas:

  • Launching a rocket into space involves working with algebraic functions. Show them the graph of a parabola to show what the part of a rocket would look like.
  • Bacteria reproduce at such a rate that it can be modeled with an exponential function. Show the power of doubling through a numerical sequence  or with a graph.
  • The force of gravity is what makes objects fall. Gravity is an inverse-squared function, which has its own unique properties. Show a graph of a rational function to show how gravity is a strong force at relatively small distances but becomes much weaker at greater distances.

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