By Joe Haupt from USA |

I've been working my way through the book

**Teach Like A Pirate**by Dave Burgess. It had so many questions leading to ideas that I've taken a few for use in my classroom. My Algebra II class has been working with exponential functions, logs and natural logs recently so I thought we'd do something different.

For the warm-up, I sent the students to a web site which gave information on the real ladies featured in the movie "Hidden Figures" to give them a bit of background on how people worked equations before hand held calculators or computers. I find it fascinating the engineers had the women check the computer calculations prior to the launch.

A short discussion followed this on how they ran the calculations use a slide rule instead. Of course, I found a template on the internet so they could make their own. After having them make it, I played a video to show them how to use the slide rule.

Did you know there is a slide rule museum with a virtual slide rule and instructions for doing math on it? There is. So I sent them there to read the instructions to figure out how to do more. And its being finished off using the slide rule to actually solve a few problems.

You might wonder why I'm doing this? Well, it gives them a bit of a history of math in terms of calculating machines used to send man to the moon, provides the history of real people who used it, and it gives them a lesson in the use of older technology. No I don't know how to use a slide rule but I'll be learning along side them.

When I got to college, calculators were used by almost everyone in class. These were HP's and TI's but you could do everything on them, so who needed a slide rule. I wanted to change up the routine a bit because students only have two days of instruction this week.

Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear back from people.