As a young engineer, Debbie Sterling set out to solve some of society’s big challenges. Now she’s building a special bridge, one that connects girls with a future in engineering. With the help of a wildly successful crowdsourcing campaign she launched GoldieBlox in 2012. Goldieblox provides a much-needed female engineer role model who help s girls develop their spatial skills and build self-confidence in their problem solving abilities.
Years ago people used their bodies, rather than rulers and yardsticks, to measure length and distance. And while using the body does sound practical (You don’t have to hunt for your head or your foot like you do a misplaced ruler.), it can get pretty difficult. Add this to the fact that your foot is unlikely to be the same length as your neighbor’s, and you’ll see why the body isn’t so great for accurate measurements and comparisons. Here are some interesting facts about the history of measurement and a few fun activities to try:
It’s that time of year. Just hours after my family returned home from apple picking a friend dropped off a five-gallon bucket of freshly picked apples. I was knee deep in apples! Wanting to make the most of nature’s bounty, I scoured the internet in search of new apple recipes. Ultimately, I found baked apple chips. Baked apple chips are easy to make, satisfying to crunch and offer a couple of cool math insights, as well as a secret surprise.
The larger a family gets, the harder it is to find a meal that everyone actually likes. Fortunately, a family can always agree on pizza. Pizza is the great peacemaker, and it can also be a great piece-maker, a delicious way for kids to practice fractions (and learn some valuable cooking skills). Of course, if you’re crunched for time you can pick one up from your favorite spot, but baking your own is sure to create more fun, and more memories, with your kids.
Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone, Ed.D. Founder and President of Storefront Science in New York City, shares Five Thoughts about Math. As creative and seasoned science educator, she has solid ideas for all parents as well as food for thought for those raising girls.
My kids love to make forts out of anything they can find around the house–pillows, boxes, chairs, tables, and bed sheets. It causes a bit of mess as they grab materials and move around the furniture but I don’t mind! They’re having a great time and even learning about math as they play.
We listened to a lot of Tom Chapin music when my boys were young. From “Big Rock Candy Mountain” (I just saw the real one in Utah and sadly it’s all rock, no candy) to songs about crazy cousins whipping through and destroying the house on a quick visit, his music captivated us. One song in particular moved us to action. After listening to, “What is a Didgeridoo?” we decided to make some of our own.
I can still picture the faces on my children the first time we allowed them to help us to pick out pumpkins for Halloween. They had plans for these big orange spheres and could visualize just what they wanted their jack o’ lanterns to look like. They plotted out the shapes they wanted the eyes and other parts to be carved. Then a funny thing happened, we sliced into the pumpkins and their facial expressions changed. My boys were simultaneously fascinated and a bit horrified with what they saw.
Bon Crowder, Math Mom and Education Advocate, publishes MathFour and That’s Math to support teachers and parents in their quest to build better math learners. Our most enthusiastic interviewee to date, Bon shared six thoughts about math, suggesting that perhaps the 5 Thoughts about Math could be +/- 1 due to rounding.
It’s the most bo-tiful time of the year with fun parties and tasty treats. However, there’s no need to leave math fun behind as you embark on Halloween hijinks. It’s easy to incorporate your love of math into this crazy holiday. Want some help? Here are some exciting ideas for Halloween costumes and goodies: