Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Outrageous Acts of Science

Last night I ended up watching two hours of Outrageous Acts of Science on the Science Channel.  It was awesome and it used both math and science to prove or disprove certain videos that went viral on the internet.  Although they spoke mostly with scientists, they did speak with a few mathematicians and they even showed the math involved in a video.

Traditional Bicycle, Rusty HandlebarsOne segment was on a bicycle.  Not just any bicycle but one that was built to be about 20 feet tall and ride-able.  It was a cool bicycle but I would be so scared to ride it.  The owner of the bike had a helmet camera on top so you got the same view he did.  Wow.

They used mathematical equations to show how much more unstable the tall bike is over a regular bike.  They discussed force, etc.  It was fascinating. 

Barrel, Wine, Old, Vintage, Wood, WoodenThen there was the one of using something like a small surfboard to ride on top of barrels. It was wild watching the small plastic barrels roll under the board so the guy looked like he was actually surfing.  When he wiped out, other people just jumped on and belly surfed on the barrels.

The scientists took time to explain how much faster the outer part of the barrels were spinning vs the center.  They explained the why and the math on it.  The kids who "surfed" were giggling and having a great time.

I love watching television shows that explain real life applications of math in such a fun way.  There were some segments which discussed the science in such a way that I could easily have my students research the actual mathematics involved in the science and use that on a worksheet I create. 

Furthermore, they have videos listed on the website that I can access and use as part of my lessons in class.  I love finding things like this.