Which is scarier: The zombie apocalypse or math? (Book review of The Calculus Diaries)

January 6, 2011

To continue the theme of the last post, today I’ll write about zombies.  I was happy to get a review copy of Jennifer Ouellette’s new book, The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.  Jennifer is a wonderful writer (and the reason I started blogging; […]

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Population growth and physics?

September 19, 2009

Do physics teachers have a role to play in teaching about population growth?  One could argue that the study of physics is separate from the world of human concerns — it’s concerned with the physical laws governing how the world works.  Our role is to educate students about these abstract laws.  The rest is for […]

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Teaching the gentle art of estimations

July 7, 2009

Our education research group here at University of Colorado had a visit and a very interesting talk by Sanjoy Mahajan, director of the teaching and learning laboratory at MIT and former physics professor, last semester.  He focuses on understanding and improving students number sense, mostly through use of approximations and estimations.  He’s a very provocative […]

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Pi day is just around the corner… are you ready?

March 11, 2009

Gosh, I’m posting a pi day post just FOUR DAYS before pi day.  Heavens.  Well, any teachers reading this aren’t going to be preparing until the night before, right?  Besides, pi day is, sadly, on a Saturday this year, so you can always cheat and do it on Monday if you need to! So, yes, […]

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Correlation vs causation

March 9, 2009

As usual, Randall Munroe says it all And while we’re on the subject of causality, a reader just reminded me of this wonderful graph from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster showing how the lack of pirates are responsible for global warming  (If the FSM doesn’t ring a bell, you need to work on […]

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Body metrics: Helping students learn the metric system

February 21, 2009

Students really struggle with the metric system.  I know I still do.  I have a rough iea of how long an inch is, and how long a foot is, but I don’t have a great sense of how long a centimeter or meter is.  In this episode of Science Teaching Tips, TI staff educator Lori […]

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The mathematics of a bouncing ball

December 5, 2008

Have you ever really listened to the sound of a bouncing ball? There’s some elegant mathematics to be had in this simple thing. In this episode of my Science Teaching Tips podcast, staff educator and physicist Tom Humphrey takes us to the most perfect bouncing ball I’ve ever seen (or heard) — an exhibit at […]

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Math humor…

December 2, 2008

…for anyone who hasn’t seen this one yet…

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A true pie chart

November 14, 2008

I love this… from GraphJam.

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Resources for teaching about voting and mathematics

November 6, 2008

The NSDL has pulled together some classroom resources for teaching about voting and polls, voting technology, and the history of voting.  These are taken from the NSDL Expert Voices blog. Annenberg/CPB: Cast Your Vote From the NSDL Middle School Portal: Math and Science Pathways Multiple polls claim to know how public opinion shifts day-to-day during […]

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Put kids’ skepticism to work

October 10, 2008

In the latest episode of my Science Teaching Tips podcast, you can hear (the wildly funny) children’s book author David Schwartz talk about how he used kids’ skepticism to get them to do some good measurement problem.   A class disagreed with the numbers in one of his math books, and set out to prove […]

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Everything You Ever Wanted to know about Gender Issues in Science/Math Education

August 16, 2008

Richard Hake and Jeffry Mallow have compiled over 700 research papers on how males and females learn — and are taught — science and mathematics.  Wow! You can download the PDF of their work here. If that link stops working at some point, the permalink is in Reference 55 here. The first page reads: This […]

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Myth: Fuel efficiency at the low end of the scale — MPG vs GPM (OR news from geek dad)

August 6, 2008

REVISED 9/11/08 I just recently got an email from my father that showed to me once again that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I guess geekgirl is truly the progeny of geekdad. (He’s a retired physical chemist, BTW). He saw an interesting article in Science about how we calculate fuel efficiency in […]

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If you could hop like a frog…

August 3, 2008

It can be tough to get K-8 students engaged in math, or to really get across the idea of size and scale.  My latest podcast features a talk by math enthusiast David Schwartz talking about some real-world size comparisons that can make size and scale relevant to children’s lives.  Give it a listen! David Schwartz’s […]

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How do we think about physics problems?

July 22, 2008

[[SESSION: SYMBOLIC CALCULATORS AFFECT EPISTEMIC FRAMING, TOM BING]] This post is primarily for college teachers, but K-12 educators might get something from it too. This researcher (Tom Bing… here’s his dissertation) has done some very interesting work on the paths that students take as they solve physics problem. He gave one particular example of students […]

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Give me Sharks or Give me Cigarettes

June 13, 2008

I just had to repost from the Deep Sea News blog, which points out an alarming 300% increase in the number of shark attacks in the last year in a particular town in Mexico: Aren’t statistics wonderful things? That’s why when you read something in the medical news about “50% fewer heart attacks” or some […]

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Scaling up Barbie!

May 16, 2008

I’ve posted a new episode of my Science Teaching Tips podcast featuring one of our all-time favorite activities at the Exploratorium. Our math enthusiast Lori Lambertson helps us answer the question — what would Barbie look like if she were my height? Some of the answers may surprise you! Click this link to check it […]

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I don’t think so!

March 23, 2008

Hi everyone, I posted an episode to my podcast, Science Teaching Tips. Click this link to check it out: 33. I Don’t Think So – Stephanie

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine’s Day! Are you a science geek too? Searching for your true life’s companion? Make sure he or she can grok your geeky little brain by sending them a card with this message. This is the mathematical equation for a cardioid in polar coordinates, which is a heart-shape. You can find the full activity […]

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Discovering Pi

January 25, 2008

Hey, I’ve posted a new episode on my podcast, Science Teaching Tips. Episode: 26. Discovering Pi TI staff educator and math enthusiast Lori Lambertson describes how to find her favorite number. Enjoy!

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