Boredomaccounts for nearly a third of the variation in student achievement.

Half of high school dropouts citeboredomas their primary motivator for leaving.

Boredom begins for Math students at Grade 6 when students (Common Core Standards, USA) tackle more abstract concepts such as linear eqns, exponents, probability, geometry and so on.

Math curriculums in the USA, UK & Australia all demand students solve REAL LIFE problems. Too often these are of the type:

Q. Ronaldo has tethered his goat on a 12ft rein in the corner of a 20ft square field. What area can the goat graze?

THE ANS: Who cares?

Simple.

Ask students maths questions which have answers they want to know.

Students really don’t care about Ronaldo’s goat, but here are some questions which involve intriguing answers they might want to work out. And many of these questions involve funny or age-relevant activities, which also helps engagement.

The average time it takes an audience at a conference to switch off is 11 minutes. Keep in mind this audience is, at least, being paid to be bored witless.

It’s Autumn in UK & FALL in the USA so it’s the perfect time for a little bit of outdoor math for Grade 3-5 with AUTUMN leaves. Of course, you don’t need FALL LEAVES for this exercise, but it is colorful.

This fab idea comes from Juliet Robertson, an outdoor education consultant in Scotland. Her blog Creative star learning is one of the most inspiring outdoor maths blogs you will find.

“With enough stupidity you can get any car to roll over” (MSN AUTO)

What stuntmen and women need is maths!

Maths is essential to the process, from calculating speeds and braking distances to looking at the ratio of the amount of film shot to the length of time of the end sequence. The stunt and crash is outlined, and the co-ordinator explains how he must calculate speeds and stopping distances carefully.

So you want to be a stuntman?

First think of the pain.

Mark Eiden, 52, a professional stuntman (pictured) who is not only afraid of heights, but was once told he likely wouldn’t walk again. Eiden’s had surgery on both arms and shoulders, five knee surgeries, six nasal reconstructions, foot and hand surgery and a facial cast. He fell off the top of a stunt car at 40 mph when the tyre blew. He gaffer taped his ear and continued, despite severe concussion. Northern Express Michigan

If you still want to be a stuntman do the Maths:

Rolling a Car:

You can use quick handbrake turn, speed around a corner, fishtail into the curb or some other lunatic thing. The most controlled way to roll a car is to use a ramp.

These ramps often have a kicker at the end to add extra lift. Ramp calculations can be complicated, but the simplest way to look at the maths is to determine the angle a car will roll ie. When the Centre of Gravity moves over the base.

Centre of Gravity vs Base Width

The distance between the front wheels in cars is often called the track width.

So the Lamobgini Diablo is very hard to roll (build a higher ramp) and it therefore beats the SUV for stability every time.

Balancing on 2 Wheels

A more skilled stunt involves driving a car on two wheels. A very skilled stunt driver can lift the car onto wheels by snaking the car back and forth across the road until it balances on 2 wheels.

From the Centre of Gravity vs Base angles above you can see that the SUV is the easiest car to balance of 2 wheels.

But there is nothing quite as crazy as this SUV stunt:

Star Stuntman Monte Perin (pictured) has involved many films, including “Spider-Man,” “Star Trek, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and portraying Arnold Schwarzenegger’s stunt double in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.”

Perhaps his most difficult stunt was landing his Harley in an open boxcar of a moving train for Disney’s 2008 Adam Sandler movie “Bedtime Stories”. In a career of over 25 years Perin has broken “almost everything” including both his arms, legs, knees, feet, ankles, several ribs, his back and his pelvis. See Confessions of a stuntman

Veteran stuntman Evel Knievel (1938 – 2007) was the pioneer of many stunt jumps. Here he is jumping 10 cars and 3 vans in 1973.

Mathspig just loves this Fluid Geometry Mural by artist Clint Fulkerson. Here is a Speed Clip of Flulkerson at the University of Maine Art Gallery 2012.

Mathspig went crazy trying to produce her own Fluid Geometry Mural. These guys are artists. But your middle school maths class can use a simple method (See GIF below) and make a fab mural on a white/black board or down a school hallway. This is a great end of year/semester/pre-holidays project.

The reason for tackling such a project is to engage students, who are otherwise not interested in maths as well as do some whole school PR for maths. The mural WILL be noticed. And it makes maths look COOL.You will find more interesting Fluid Geometry works by Clint Fulkerson here.

The Pixar ﬁlm, Finding Dory, began as storyboard sketches. There were 103,000 drawn for the ﬁlm. The sketches are placed side-by-side in sequence in order to convey scenes and deliver a rough sense of how the story unfolds.

How many 64-page Exercise books would the story board take?

Only one side of the page of the 64-page exercise book would be used for storyboarding.

No. exercise books = 102,000/32=3,187.5

If put into flip Book form the story board sketches would produce a ‘rough’ version of the film.

Superman Vs Goku

………………………………………..

2. Ratio

If you are making a film about, say, Godzilla, you want him to be big. VERY BIG. But he has to share a screen with human characters.

If Godzilla is too big all the humans look like ants.

If he is too small … he looks like a toy TRex.

The Monster Maths:

Height: 108.2m Godzilla’s towering height in the 2014 film—the tallest onscreen incarnation ever

Tail: 167.74m Total length of Godzilla’s spiked tail

Volume: 89,724 m^{3} Godzilla’s total volume in the 2014 film.

Volume: 90,000 tons Godzilla’s volume if filled with water

Teeth: 1.07mLength from the root to the tips of Godzilla’s canine teeth

Teeth: 60 Teeth in Godzilla’s mouth

Roar: 4.83km Approximate distance Godzilla’s roar reverberates. (100,000W Power of the 3.7m-high, 5.5m-wide speaker array from which the sound designers blasted Godzilla’s roar to record the sound in a “real world” context)

Feet: 17.66mTotal width of Godzilla’s feet across the widest point

Feet: 18.18m Length of Godzilla’s footprint from toe to heel

You vs Godzilla

The average height for 14-year-old boys in the U.S. is 164 cm.

For 14-year-old girls in the U.S. the average height is 158.75 cm.

Godzilla = 108.2 m

We’ll assume an average height of, say, 1.6m for a 14 yo.

14 yo =1.6 m

Height:

108.2/1.6 = 67.6 = 68

Footprint

You vs Godzilla’s Footprint

18.18/160 =11.4

Teeth

You vs Godzilla’s Tooth

1.07/1.60 = 0.7

………………………………………………

3. 3D Modeling: Polygon Count

3D modeling can be approached in several ways. There is a good explanation here.

One method is to use a 3D scanner to produce a 3D mesh.

Godzilla model under construction

Digital Godzilla as 3D mesh

The mesh consists of polygons. You’ll find everything you want to know about polygons here.

The greater the no. of polygons the better the resolution in a 3D mesh, the better theresolution of the character or object as more shading and texture variation can be added.

So the POLYGON COUNT or POLY COUNT is a measure of the quality of an image.

Here are some POLY COUNTS:

Godzilla

500,000 polygons.

It took the 4 CGI artists 6 months to fully nail the texture of Godzilla’s scales. (See above)

Elysium

Just the space station ran close to 3 trillion polygons.

Transformers 2

Devastator had 13 million polygons

Clash of the Titans

The Kraken had 7 million Polygons.

Avatar

Apart from some bluescreen shots of live-action actors in cockpits, it’s all CG: gunships, missiles, smoke trails, water, fire, an army of photorealistic virtual characters and a giant tree made of 20 million polygons with 1.2 million leaves.

The POLY COUNT is always greater in animated movies than in video games mainly because a higher poly count takes longer and costs more. A higher resolution is needed in a movie as it is shown on a much bigger screen.

Gollum: Game vs Film 3D model

Here are some POLY COUNTS for some popular games:

The Amazing Spiderman

Spiderman – 11,652

Assassin’s Creed 3

Benjamin Franklin – 17,744

Charles Lee – 25,994

Connor Kenway – 28,501

Desmond – 14,934

Haytham Kenya – 19,985

Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Film Version

Batman: Game Model

Batman Beyond suit – 13,050

Harley Quinn – 17,731

Harley Quinn (DLC) – 19,110

Poison Ivy – 15,977

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Frank Woods (full gear) – 19,777

Crysis 2 (console)

Nano suit – 19,073

Multiplayer suit – 27,414

………………….

FREE 3D MODELING FOR MIDDLESCHOOL STUDENTS

TINKERCAD is the free online resource that allows students to create their own 3D graphs – like Godzilla vs You (above) or 3D images that can be used for 3D printing. Play with the program. Mathspig had a little play and produced the genetically challenged chicken (below).

The Pixar ﬁlm, Finding Dory, began as storyboard sketches. There were 103,000 drawn for the ﬁlm. The sketches are placed side-by-side in sequence in order to convey scenes and deliver a rough sense of how the story unfolds.

How many 64-page Exercise books would the story board take?

Only one side of the page of the 64-page exercise book would be used for storyboarding.

No. exercise books = 102,000/32=3,187.5

If put into flip Book form the story board sketches would produce a ‘rough’ version of the film.

Superman Vs Goku

………………………………………..

2. Ratio

If you are making a film about, say, Godzilla, you want him to be big. VERY BIG. But he has to share a screen with human characters.

If Godzilla is too big all the humans look like ants.

If he is too small … he looks like a toy TRex.

The Monster Maths:

Height: 355ft Godzilla’s towering height in the 2014 film—the tallest onscreen incarnation ever

Tail: 550ft 4in Total length of Godzilla’s spiked tail.

Volume: 90,000 tons Godzilla’s volume if filled with water

Teeth: 3.51ft Length from the root to the tips of Godzilla’s canine teeth

Teeth: 60 Teeth in Godzilla’s mouth

Roar: 3 miles. Approximate distance Godzilla’s roar reverberates. (100,000W Power of the 12-foot-high, 18-foot-wide speaker array from which the sound designers blasted Godzilla’s roar to record the sound in a “real world” context)

Feet: 58ft Total width of Godzilla’s feet across the widest point

Feet: 60ft Length of Godzilla’s footprint from toe to heel

You vs Godzilla

The average height for 14-year-old boys in the U.S. is 64.5 inches or 5 feet 4½ inches.

For 14-year-old girls in the U.S. the average height is 62.5 inches or 5 feet 2½ inches.

Godzilla = 355ft

14 yo =5’ 3”

Height:

355/5.25= 67.6 = 68

To make a 3D graph like this see below.

Footprint

You vs Godzilla’s Footprint

60/5.25 =11.4

Teeth

You vs Godzilla’s Tooth

3.5/5.25 = 0.7

………………………………………………

3. 3D Modeling: Polygon Count

3D modeling can be approached in several ways. There is a good explanation here.

One method is to use a 3D scanner to produce a 3D mesh.

Godzilla model under construction

Digital Godzilla as 3D mesh

The mesh consists of polygons. You’ll find everything you want to know about polygons here.

The greater the no. of polygons the better the resolution in a 3D mesh, the better theresolution of the character or object as more shading and texture variation can be added.

So the POLYGON COUNT or POLY COUNT is a measure of the quality of an image.

Here are some POLY COUNTS:

Godzilla

500,000 polygons.

It took the 4 CGI artists 6 months to fully nail the texture of Godzilla’s scales. (See above)

Elysium

Just the space station ran close to 3 trillion polygons.

Transformers 2

Devastator had 13 million polygons

Clash of the Titans

The Kraken had 7 million Polygons.

Avatar

Apart from some bluescreen shots of live-action actors in cockpits, it’s all CG: gunships, missiles, smoke trails, water, fire, an army of photorealistic virtual characters and a giant tree made of 20 million polygons with 1.2 million leaves.

The POLY COUNT is always greater in animated movies than in video games mainly because a higher poly count takes longer and costs more. A higher resolution is needed in a movie as it is shown on a much bigger screen.

Gollum: Game vs Film 3D model

Here are some POLY COUNTS for some popular games:

The Amazing Spiderman

Spiderman – 11,652

Assassin’s Creed 3

Benjamin Franklin – 17,744

Charles Lee – 25,994

Connor Kenway – 28,501

Desmond – 14,934

Haytham Kenya – 19,985

Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Film Version

Batman: Game Model

Batman Beyond suit – 13,050

Harley Quinn – 17,731

Harley Quinn (DLC) – 19,110

Poison Ivy – 15,977

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Frank Woods (full gear) – 19,777

Crysis 2 (console)

Nano suit – 19,073

Multiplayer suit – 27,414

………………….

FREE 3D MODELING FOR MIDDLESCHOOL STUDENTS

TINKERCAD is the free online resource that allows students to create their own 3D graphs – like Godzilla vs You (above) or 3D images that can be used for 3D printing. Play with the program. Mathspig had a little play and produced the genetically challenged chicken (below).

With wildfires in Texas and now Australia is facing the fire season, it is time to think about fire fighter maths.

METRIC UNITS

Background Story

On 5^{th} 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.

t_{1 }=

t_{2} =

t_{3}=

Average your time:

t_{av} = (t_{1 } + t_{2} + t_{3)}/ 3 =

Your Speed S = 10/t_{av} = ……… m/sec

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

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.

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:

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.

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.

With wildfires in Texas and now Australia is facing the fire season, it is time to think about fire fighter maths.

USA UNITS

Background Story

On 5^{th} 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?

USA UNITS

Time Trial:

Mark out a 30ft course. Make 3 time trials.

t_{1 }=

t_{2} =

t_{3}=

Average your time:

t_{av} = (t_{1 } + t_{2} + t_{3)}/ 3 =

Your Speed S = 30/t_{av} ft/sec

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 12mph (up to 20mph) in a gentle breeze.

We’ll assume, boy or girl, that you are really motivated and can run away from the fire at top speed of 10 ft/sec and -Wow! – this is easy math. Now calculate the distance you can run and the fire front moves in 10 secs intervals up to 1 minute.

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:

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

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

Even at your top running speed, which is unlikely up a slope, you can run 1080 ft in 1 minute. In that time the forefront has moved 8640 ft or 1.6 miles. It depends how far away you are from the fire front when you start running, but it seems likely that you cannot out run this fire front.

Again we can do very accurate calculations using simultaneous equations.

High winds can turn a bush or forrest fire into a WILD FIRE with wind speeds up to 70 mph 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 in a strong wind can reach 140 mph, 210 mph and up to 280 mph.

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.