Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The San Francisco Exploratorium.

Palace Of Fine Arts, San Francisco  Since the San Francisco Exploratorium deals with science, I wondered if they had any math activities for students.  Sure enough, they do and they are science based so students can see a link between the two topics.

I checked out activity to make an inclinometer or an instrument to calculate height of a rocket or building.  It takes few supplies to create one and the exercise includes lesson on using it once its finished. The last page of the activity includes a grid so students can draw a scale model of the building or rocket.  It is simple and really impressive.

In addition, there is an activity to build a rocket out of paper and other easily obtained materials. It also has instructions for building the rocket launcher and using the inclinometer to find how high the rocket launched.  So this exercise provides a practical application for a tool the students made.

Furthermore, there is another exercise that has the students building a stride meter based on the length of their own stride, a meter stick,  a centimeter stick and dice.  I like this unit because the science department is always borrowing my meter sticks and I do not get them back.  Now I can share this with the science department so she can have the students create their own for the class.

These activities are from The Math Explorer.  The Exploratorium has some nice hands on math activities designed to explore other mathematical concepts.

At one point, you have to teach about radioactive decay if you teach a higher level math.  The activity has you using pennies to help create the understanding of how radioactive decay.  It is easy to have students do the exploratory activity prior to teaching it in class so they have a much better foundational understanding.

Another activity shows the use of vectors with moving objects.  I really like seeing some activities for up level maths.  I plan to implement several of these activities in Algebra II and Pre-Calculus.