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Diego Fonstad

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Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 07 April 2011
in True (or so we're told) Stories

Teachable Moment: "Applied Math" can often be full of tortured attempts to make a math problem relevant by layering a story... but real life failures!  That's fun and memorable ;-)
Use the second link in the reference for the answer key.

Story 1: On September 23, 1999 NASA lost the $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft after a 286-day journey to Mars. Miscalculations due to the use of English units instead of metric units apparently sent the craft slowly off course - - 60 miles in all. Thrusters used to help point the spacecraft had, over the course of months, been fired incorrectly because data used to control the wheels were calculated in incorrect units.

Lockheed Martin, which was performing the calculations, was sending thruster data in English units (pounds) to NASA, while NASA's navigation team was expecting metric units (Newtons).

Problem 1 - A solid rocket booster is ordered with the specification that it is to produce a total of 10 million pounds of thrust. If this number is mistaken for the thrust in Newtons, by how much, in pounds, will the thrust be in error? (1 pound = 4.5 Newtons)

Tags: Engineering, Math
Hits: 53383

22 Years of Sea Surface Temperatures

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 07 April 2011
in Videos worth watching

22 Years of Sea Surface Temperature ChangesThe NOAA polar-orbiting satellites (POES) have been collecting sea surface temperature data for over 22 years. This animation is a compilation of that data from January 1985 - January 2007. Of note are the changes in the Gulf Stream, El Nino and La Nina cycles in the Pacific, and the seansonal changes in sea ice cove.

 

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National Science Digital Library

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 07 April 2011
in Online Resources

NSDL LogoThe National Science Digital Library (NSDL) is a national network of digital envirionments dedicated to advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning for all learners, in both formal and informal settings. NSDL is the locus of activity for the National STEM Distributed Learning program.

NSDL receives the majority of its funding through the generous support of NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR).

NSDL advances teaching and learning by providing:

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Visual Proof of the Pythagorean Theorem

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 04 April 2011
in Videos worth watching

Simple one minute video provides a visual elegant proof of the Pythagorean theorem.

 

 

Tags: Math

The Physics of Angry Birds

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 01 April 2011
in Great Explanations

Teachable Moment: It is important to realize that making science "relevant" doesn't always mean solving real world problems... it can be as simple as showing how proper use of science makes games better.

The article asks the question: 

"But what about the physics? Do the birds have a constant vertical acceleration? Do they have constant horizontal velocity? Let’s find out, shall we? Oh, why would I do this? Why can’t I just play the dumb game and move on. That is not how I roll. I will analyze this, and you can’t stop me."

Follow the reference to find out.

 

References: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/10/physics-of-angry-birds/

Tags: Physics
Hits: 75415

How hard can it be? Real life UP balloon launch.

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 01 April 2011
in Videos worth watching

How much helium does it take to lift a house with balloons?Teachable Moment: Well... it's a cool video.  Beyond that, it might be fun to try to figure out how big those balloons are and calculate how much helium would have to be used to lift a house!

The National Geographic Channel will be premiering a new series in the Fall of 2011 called "How hard can it be?"

So of course, they decided to see how hard it would be to make a house float as in UP.

Tags: Random
Hits: 22631

GeoGebra

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 01 April 2011
in Online Resources

GeoGebra LogoWhat is GeoGebra?

GeoGebra is free and multi-platform dynamic mathematics software for all levels of education that joins geometry, algebra, tables, graphing, statistics and calculus in one easy-to-use package. It has received several educational software awards in Europe and the USA.

Tags: Math
Hits: 18809

Inner Life of a Cell - Biovisions Harvard University

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 01 April 2011
in Videos worth watching

biovisions logoTeachable Moment: Beautiful visualization of the inner workings of a cell.

Research in the biological sciences often depends on the development of new ways of visualizing important processes and molecules. Indeed, the very act of observing and recording data lies at the foundation of all the natural sciences. The same holds true for the teaching and communication of scientific ideas; to see is to begin to understand. The continuing quest for new and more powerful ways to communicate ideas in biology is the focus of BioVisions at Harvard University.

Tags: Biology
Hits: 46395

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 01 April 2011
in Favorite Books

Teachable Moment: This little book cleverly crams complex mathematical concepts into a story of a bad dream.... what more can you say?  If you find numbers interesting, explore them in a whole new way with the help of this little devil.

Twelve year old Robert fears numbers and hates maths. Then, in his dreams, he meets the Number Devil who introduces him to the amazing and magical world of numbers. This international bestseller is an exciting adventure in learning for both adults and children which will do for mathematics what "Sophie's World" did for philosophy.

To Purchase: The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure

Authors: Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Rotraut Susanne Berner, Michael Henry Heim

Tags: Math
Hits: 78772

Why don't planets twinkle as stars do?

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 01 April 2011
in Great Explanations

Teachable Moment: This thought experiment can be used at so many levels.  At its core, it teaches basic concepts of astronomy but it also can be used to explore the properties of light and even of the concept of infinity. As the distance of the object approaches infinity, the impact of the atmosphere is stronger and stronger.

Stars twinkle. Planets shine steadily. Why?

Stars always twinkle because they’re so far away from Earth that, even through large telescopes, they appear only as pinpoints. And it’s easy for Earth’s atmosphere to disturb the pinpoint light of a star.

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