Monday, December 28, 2015

Star Wars Math

Darth Vader, Star Wars, Wallpaper, Movie  With the release of the newest Star Wars Movie recently, I decided to check into what math is available using it.

First off, I heard that Star Wars has grossed over 1 billion dollars in just a few days time.  You could have students take the average cost of a ticket and figure out approximately how many have seen the movie so far.

Second, I found the Mathematical Shed that has some Star Wars Math.  It has some things for elementary but it was the inforgraphic on the cost of building the Millennium Falcon most interesting.  Students could easily research the size so they can calculate cost per square foot.  In additon, they will have to convert the cost from British pounds to American dollars. 

In addition, there is a presentation on the cost of building the Death Star which includes the staffing requirements.  Think about the fact that once its built, they have to pay people to run it. Even if its the military, they still get paid.  Then students could figure out the cost of supplies based on current food costs, etc. 

Toward the bottom are other activities for students.  One is a game called Race to the Death Star which comes in a downloadable, editable form and has eight problems students can work their way through.  Most of the problems are based on the original Star Wars Movies but some of the problems are nice.

There is also a game using characters from the Star Wars movies which requires players to convert between scientific notation and standard numbers.  In addition, there is a pod racing game, a coordinate grid exercise and a bunch of Legos activities. 

Another site, Manghammath, offers several Star Wars activities in a 39 page downloadable activity packet.  The packet provides a lovely review for a Pre-Algebra or Algebra class so they can review classifying numbers, decimals, etc.

I even found free classroom posters based on Star Wars to use in school. The first rule under the 8 Mathematical Practices of the Jedi Masters is "I can solve problems without giving up."  The thing I work so hard with my students on.  If they perceive the problem as too hard, they give up without trying.   I think I"ll download these posters and hang them in my room. 

Check these out if you want something a bit different in your classroom.