As the weather improves – Spring in Melbourne, my city & Fall in USA & Autumn in the UK – it is an ideal time to take math outdoors. Here are some fab exercises for Middle School Math.

Lego Man soccer fields will vary in size depending on the height of each player picked by each student. This does your head in. It is really challenging maths!

You’ll find full calculations at the Maths is Fun blog.

You’ll find more fab outdoor junior and middle school maths activities at the terrific Maths and Movement blog.

Some students will discover their co-ordinate point is not on the grid. Students should then work out that they will need a different scale for the y-axis. You can get more inspiration at the Stand Again blog.

Here is the x-y graph for different launch angles.

trajectory wired magazine

You can go to this page for complete calculations. Aerial skiers twist and turn but their CENTRE OF GRAVITY must follow this graph. More on centre of Gravity at The Great Back Pack Attack ie.

The centre of gravity of Aerial Skiers must follow a

The lethal dose for caffeine is about 68 milligrams per lb of body weight. Average consumption of caffeine is about 200 milligrams a day. The Mayo Clinic advises against exceeding 500 to 600 milligrams per day.

This work titled Timing is Everything is by street artist ABOVE in London.

You may want this much energy but be warned, energy drinks can kill.

It would take a ridiculously huge number of ANGRY WOMBAT energy drinks to kill a 14 year old weighing, say, 110 lb. Nevertheless, some kids are more sensitive to caffeine than others and then much lower levels of consumption of energy drinks can be fatal.

See Death by Caffeine:The Math Part 2 USA UNITS

Here is the work (see below) TIMING IS EVERYTHING by street artist ABOVE in London showing the timing.

Sensitivity to caffeine varies for individuals, but in healthy adults the half life for caffeine is approx 6hrs meaning your body eliminates half the caffeine you have drunk in 6 hrs. Ref: Caffeine Pharmacology

Caffeine interferes with sleep. One study found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by 1 hour.

Sensitivity to caffeine varies for individuals, but in healthy adults the half life for caffeine is approx 6hrs meaning your body eliminates half the caffeine you have drunk in 6 hrs. Ref: Caffeine Pharmacology

Caffeine interferes with sleep. One study found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by 1 hour.

The random walk is a way to create a path based on random decisions at junctions. If you’ve played a procedurally generated video game, including major examples like Minecraft and Stardew Valley as well as cult favorites like Spelunky and Dwarf Fortress, you’ve encountered a random walk in the form of a dungeon or terrain made this way in the programming. More @ Popular Mechanics

2D Random Walk math helps game programmers to plot interesting pathways in games like Minecraft Dungeons. (above)

Plot a 2D Random Walk

There are 4 choices:

UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT

Note: This 2D random walk is limited to a 1-unit step length and right angles turns.

Set the Random Number Spinnerhereto 4 and generate 8 random moves of 1 unit and plot the moves on the worksheet(below).

These 2D Random Walks do not look like the path taken by a drunk mathematician.

Drunken Mathematician

This looks like a drunken mathematician and the 2D Random Walk for a drunk mathematician would look like pathways shown below with variable step lengths and turns from 0-360°.

All Random Walks can be mathematically modeled. eg. Go to MIT here. This math can be quite complicated (See here.) But all we want to do is plot the 2D Random Walk to see random numbers in action.

Choco Yum Yum! Mathspig lervs chocolate. But did you know chocolate can kill you?

Chocolate contains a chemical called Theobromine. This alkaloid ( other alkaloids include cocaine, nicotine, caffeine, and strychnine) can kill humans. More infoWired Magazine.

How much chocolate is too much?

Firstly, the darker the chocolate the more Theobromine it contains.

According toAbout Chemistrybased on the highest possible toxicity:

* Vetmedicine: Cooking chocolate contains 8-10 times the Theobromine in Milk Chocolate.

According toWiredlarge doses of theobromine may cause “nausea and anorexia ….. sweating, trembling and severe headache.”

The Royal Society of Chemistrynotes that chocolate does not contain caffeine, but theobromine induces similar symptoms.

LD50 for the lethal dose for 50% of the population for Theobromine is:

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.