Archive for the ‘Year 9 Mathspig’ Category


The Terrifying Maths of Running from a Bear … Metric Units

July 17, 2017



Grizzly Bear

Weight:   250kg

Height:   250cm

Top Speed: 56kph  =   16 m/sec

More bear stats here. 

Brown Bear

Weight:  680kg

Height:   250cm

Top Speed: 35kph  = 10m/s

More bear stats here.

Comparing these speeds to the fastest man on earth, Usain Bolt:

Usain Bolt:

Top speed: 243kph =   12m/s

So Usain Bolt could out run a Brown Bear but NOT a Grizzly!

Bears are NOT as dangerous as:

In fact more Americans die choking on their own vomit each year than a re killed by bears.

More death stats here.

But bears are very fast so Park Rangers recommend the following survival tactics:

More bear survival info here.

REF: Dog helps save hikers after grizzly chases them for 20 minutes here.


The Terrifying Math of Running from a Bear … USA Units

July 17, 2017



Grizzly Bear

Weight:  550 lb        

Height:  8’ 2”   

Top Speed: 35 mph  =   51 ft/s    

Brown Bear

Weight:  1,500 lb       

Height:  8’ 2”              

Top Speed: 22 mph  =  32 ft/s     

Comparing these speeds to the fastest man on earth, Usain Bolt:

Usain Bolt:

Top speed: 27 mph  =   40 ft/s     

Bears are not dangerous:


In fact, more Americans die each year from choking on their own vomit than are killed by bears.

More death stats here

Nevertheless, bears are very fast. So you can see why Park Rangers offer the following advice:

More information at Mountain Nature.

The reason for waiting until the bear is 15 ft away is to make sure the spray doesn’t disperse in the air. If the Pepper Spray is too spread out it will not stop the bear.

Ref: Dog helps save hikers after grizzly chases them for 20 minutes.


1. Middle School Madness: BIG MATHS

June 12, 2017


Community Maths can involve the school community or the wider, local community. The aim is to get maths out of the classroom and make it a hands-on experience.

Set up displays, posters, demonstrations or art/maths projects in your school library, gym or school yard or take some interesting maths to the local library, strip mall, town hall, local gardens or shopping mall. It will mean planning the project, collecting the materials and making a phone call to  the local, say, librarian, but libraries, for instance, welcome community involvement.

Here are just some community maths project ideas.


Major maths conferences around the world have poster displays. So why not a display of students maths posters in your school library or local library or even a nearby shopping mall. And students should be present at allocated times to explain their poster to other students, parents or members of the public.

Roosevelt Middle School students Jacob Klausner and Oliver Adelson WEST ORANGE, NJ, who were finalists heading to the National MathCon Competition.

Some of the best middle school maths posters can be found at MathsCareers, UK. Here are some posters from the 2016 competitions.

Winner 9 – 11 years Maths Poster Competition

Fatimah Patel Preston Girls High School

Runner Up 9 – 11 years Maths Poster Competition

Maja Kowalska McAuley Catholic High School

Winner 12-13 years Maths and Music Poster Competition

Laeticia Junanto Bancrofts School



Maths students can construct displays that involve interesting maths. The most amazing maths dispalys Mathspig has seen were at the 13e Salon Culture & Jeux  Mathematique in Paris. Here is LAGA Phd student Attouchi @ the 13e Salon Culture & Jeux  Mathematique in Paris.

She was showing students how to use a graph to create anamorphic projections. More detailed instructions here!!!

Palestinian Maths teacher Daina Taimina has many zany ideas. You’ll more Creative Maths ideas here.

Mentalist Maths … OK. This may include some Card Tricks … but they’re amazing. You’ll find 10 amazing Mentalist Math Tricks here.

Make some interesting cubes here.

Give students a variety of maths challenges they have to solve

like these Maths Mystery Box Challenges here.

Or let students explore some of the inspiring maths websites and pick a project. You will love the amazing German website IMAGINARY. It’s in English and has some fascinating videos!!!!!

Perhaps students could construct double pendulum like this one demonstrated at the MiMa-Museum, Oberwolfach, Germany. Mathspig can’t stop watching it. Fascinating!!!!!!! The double pendulum has some demanding trigonometry, but at the middle school level the 2D graph traced by the lower pendulum is fascinating enough (Below). And maths can provide equations for this movement. That’s impressive.



2. Middle School Madness: BIG MATHS

June 1, 2017

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.


3. Middle School Madness: BIG MATHS

May 25, 2017

Mathspig loves this ‘Street Art’ time lapse clip made by projective geometry students at the Technical University, Munich. 

SO … thought Mathspig … lets do it! Two days later Mathspig’s eyes nearly crossed trying to locate the Vanishing Point (below), which helps artists draw 3D images. It didn’t work due to the angle of elevation of the camera. 

SO .. rethink needed. (See project 1 & 2 below)

Maths Meets Street Art:

Project 1

Students can draw this ‘hole in the earth’ by Circle/Line Art School on paper fairly quickly. The aim here is to practice 3D street Art.

Maths Meets Street Art:

Project 2: The BIG ONE

Students can draw this ‘concrete hole’ by MiltonCor on paper using a ruler, set square and pencils. Then they have to scale it up to a size large enough for them to sit on the steps. The class can the ‘concrete hole’  in chalk in the school yard. Basic shading only is required, not the shading detail shown in this video.

Finally, students can take a photo of themselves sitting on the ‘steps’ with maths books beside them. 

Another MATHS SELFIE!!!!


5. Middle School Madness: BIG MATHS

May 19, 2017

Write your own maths song. 

Everyone is in it.

And film it.

Here are 2 hot to rock maths songs. The first song “Geometry is Killa-Hot”

 from the Ron Clark Academy even includes the lyrics.

You can do this. Make maths ROCK!

The second clip is from WSHA MATH. It is great too.

You will find Mathpig’s Math Song Lyrics here.

And Yes! I have had students singing this maths song

with great enthusiasm.


Parabolas and the Art of Spitting

May 5, 2017

The maths that proves that the 45 degree angle is the angle that produces the maximum distance travelled is quite tricky and involves trigonometry. But this just shows how cool maths can be. See the full calculations here.

More long bow maths here at ROBINHOOD GIVE US YOUR BEST SHOT