Archive for the ‘middle school’ Category

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Amazing and Terrifying Wildfire Maths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . METRIC UNITS

November 13, 2019

mathspig-smoke-jumpers 

With the catastrophic Californian fires burning into November and wildfires currently burning in NSW and Qld, Australia, I had to repost this firefighter maths for middle school classrooms.

Radiant Heat Stats WA Fire Dept FACEBOOK, Australian Bushfires 14 NOV 2019 MyFireWatch WA

 Wildfires USA 2019 Map: Ecowest,

mathspig-metric-units-fire-math

METRIC UNITS

Background Story

On 5th August 1949 Wag Dodge was dropped by parachute with 14 other fire fighters into Mann Gulch, a steep-sided gully in a Montana pine forest. Fire fighters who parachute in to put out small blazes started by lightening are called Smoke Jumpers. As they worked their way down the sides of the gully the breeze was blowing away from them. But the wind soon shifted. This produced an updraft, which increases the speed of the fire front. The 15 Smoke Jumpers turned and started running for their lives uphill.

HOW FAST CAN YOU RUN?

METRIC UNITS

Time Trial:

Mark out a 10 m course. Make 3 time trials.

t1 =

t2 =

t3=

Average your time:

tav = (t1 + t2 + t3)/ 3 =

Your Speed S = 10/tav = ……… m/sec

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HOW FAST IS A GRASS FIRE?

This will, of course, vary depending on the wind speed. A typical grass fire in Australia in a flat area can travel at 20kph (up to 30 kph) in a gentle breeze.

Fire Front Speed Grass Fire

Fire Front Speed = 20 kph = 20 x1000/(60 x 60)

                               = 20 x 0.27777777 = 20 x 0.28 m/sec

                               = 5.6 m/sec

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CAN YOU OUT RUN A FIRE?

Average Running Speed Boy 13–14 yo = 3.0 m/sec

Average Running Speed Girl 13–14 yo = 2.4 m/sec

We’ll assume, boy or girl, that you are really motivated and can run away from the fire at top speed of 3.0 m/sec. Now calculate the distance you can run and the fire front moves in 10 secs intervals up to 1 minute.

mathspig-fire-fighter-table-1

This is not looking good. See more Firefighters Need Maths here.

We can do very accurate calculations using simultaneous equations. Wildfire Algebra: Detailed Worksheet using simultaneous equations and solutions  here.

NOW YOU ARE RUNNING UP HILL. WHAT HAPPENS?

We’ll assume, due to being motivated by having a fire licking your heels, that you can run at your top speed up hill for a short time, at least. But here is the problem.

Heat rises and so there is a Chimney Effect pushing the fire uphill. The rule of thumb used by fire fighters is:

Each 10º increase in slope, the fire front speed doubles.

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Now you can calculate the distance travelled by the fire front up a slope at a 30º angle.

Don’t forget you can use the WEB 2.0 Calculator here.

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Even at your top running speed, which is unlikely up a slope, you can run 180 m in 1 minute. In that time the forefront has moved 2688 m or 2.7 km.

It depends how far away you are from the fire front, but it seems you cannot out run this fire front.

Again we can do very accurate calculations using simultaneous equations.

See Firefighters Need Maths here.

Wildfire Algebra: Worksheet and solutions here.

CAN YOU OUT RUN A WILD FIRE?

High winds can turn a bush or forrest fire into a WILD FIRE with wind speeds up to 110 kph and temperatures up to 2000 °C, which can and does melt glass and cars.

The fire front speed doubles with every 10º, so speeds for the fire front can reach 220 kph, 330kph and up to 550kph.

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What happened to the Smoke Jumpers?

When the fire front changed direction Wag Dodge and 14 other Smoke Jumpers found themselves running for their lives up a steep slope. What did Wag do next?

ANS: Here’s the amazing thing. Wag realised he could not out run the fire at that point. So he stopped. Took off his back pack. Took out some MATCHES and lit a fire in the grassy patch in front of him. Just before the firewall hit he threw himself face down on the burnt patch. He survived. The other 14 firefighters did not.

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April Fool Math TEST USA

March 27, 2019

Tell your year 8 or 9 students this test is designed to test their ability to concentrate and use logic while doing a challenging test under pressure. 

Tell students to circle the ‘correct’ answer. Then wait to see how long it takes them to think you have totally lost the plot! You can make copies of the test using the PDF links below. You can put the answers up later on the smart board or just read out the answers.

Mathspig April Fools Math Test 1 USA

Mathspig April Fools Math Test 2 USA

Mathspig April Fools Math Test ANSWER USA

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MATH JOKE 7: Bubble Gum

January 21, 2019

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Awesome Lego Maths and a Giant Lego Tree

July 28, 2018

You may not want Lego brick blossoms falling on your head,

but the Giant Lego Cherry Blossom tree has some awesome maths

to explore. See the tree built in fast forward below.

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Awesome Math Mural

May 28, 2018

This math mural is on a high school wall, somewhere. It works because it has a street art vibe. Not a grade school math book look. That’s cool. 

Why not do something like this for your school.

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Cars in the USA are how old? Really? No way! Look at the World and Do the Math

February 3, 2018

 

The average age of the 60 years of FORD vehicles here is 30 years. MODEL NAMES at end of post.

I did this to show that averages can tell us a lot or, in this case, not very much.

Here are some averages that tell us a lot about different countries and their love of cars!

The average age of vehicles in USA is a record-high of 11.6 years. More here.

Car ownership rates data here.

This is the average vehicle age, which includes vans and utes. Almost 1,000,00 vehicles were scrapped in 2015-16. More than 30% of vehicles are less than five years old. Data here.

In 2016, the average age of vehicles on Canadian roads was 9.66 years. Data here.

The average age of cars in UK is 7.7 yrs. some interesting stats here.

The average age of vehicles in New Zealand is 14.3 years. The average age of trucks and buses is over 17 years. Data here.

Cars in the European Union are on average 10.7 years old. Data here.

The average age of vehicles in Poland is 17.2 years. Daata here.

The average age of vehicles in Romania is 15.3 years. Data here.

The average age of vehicles in Greece is 13.5 years. Data here.

Ethiopia has the lowest car ownership in the world with 2 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2014.

The average age of Ethiopia’s fleet is 15-20 years. Best guess! Data here.

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6. You’re either Good at Maths or You’re Not

September 20, 2017

The Complaint:  

You’re either Good at Maths or You’re Not!………………

………………………………………………………………………….

The Cause:

Most students who said “I can’t do maths’ when I was teaching, didn’t do maths. They talked, penned a tattoo on their arm. Or scribbled in the text book. Today they read texts or play games on their phones under table or fall asleep.

………………………………………………………………………….

The Solution: 

There is no point arguing. Students must ‘see’ they can do maths.  

Do something that grabs their attention, something counterintuitive. Here is one of the BEST revision projects ever for middle school maths students. Remember, the best way to learn something is to teach it.

………………………………………………………………………………….


 

Project MATHS SLAM WORKSHEET plain txt PDF

Project MATHS SLAM WORKSHEET plain txt USA PDF

………………………………………………………………………….

Project Maths Slam

Project Maths Slam USA TERMS

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7. Maths is really SCARY!

September 13, 2017

The Complaint: Maths is really SCARY!………………

………………………………………………………………………….

The Cause:

Some students think maths is always right or wrong and they are scared of making mistakes.

………………………………………………………………………….

The Solution:

You are going to do maths with no right or wrong answers. You just start and see what results you get.

………………………………………………………………………….

7a. Dad Jokes: The positive, the negative and the number line

Yeah! It’s a Dad Joke!

7b.  Middle School Maths Photo Scavenger Hunt  

Whoa! Totally CRAZY! Skiing a HELIX.

It looks like a Fibonacci Spiral, but that is an illusion. Steps on a spiral staircase are always the same length!

NO! This is not your homework. No stunts. 

Just show us where you see maths in the world.

7c. Crack a Security Code for Middle School…… Yes! Really!

Prime Numbers vs The Hackers!

Note: The last challenge involves guess work. Maybe, an intelligent guess, but, maybe, not.

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8. When will I EVER use this maths?

August 19, 2017

The Complaint: I’ll Never Use This Maths!………………

………………………………………………………………………….

The Cause:

Text book exercises that are good for skill building, but appear irrelevant to the real world.

………………………………………………………………………….

The Solution:

You are going to use this maths NOW

………………………………………………………………………….

8a. Calculate Your Daily Iron Intake

8b. How much blood can YOU lose and survive?  

METRIC………………………………………………………………..

USA Units………………………………………………………..

8c. What Volume of Alcohol is Lethal?

 

 

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8b. How much blood can YOU lose and survive? ……………METRIC

August 16, 2017

The Complaint

8b: When will I EVER use this maths?

The Cause:

Students doing repetitive text book exercises without using maths to solve REAL WORLD problems.

The Solution:

You are going to use this maths NOW…………………..

……………………………………………………………………………….

How much blood can YOU lose and survive?

………….METRIC UNITS

Remember the best calculator to use is the WEB 2.0 Calculator as it shows the worked equation as you go. 

CAREERS: It’s not only health workers who need to understand these calculations, but also creatives running health campaigns online, on TV, radio and in magazines.

TOPICS: Decimals, %, algebra, vol, weight units (METRIC) 

PDF WORKSHEET HERE:How much blood can you lose and still survive? WORKSHEET METRIC