Carpe Theorems! – Comedy Sketch – #1
Due January 15
We all know how math can be practical. We all know how math can be stimulating. But can math be…funny? Your team must create a comic skit – two to five minutes – that successfully communicates a) the rules that govern a branch of mathematics and b) illustrations of your select branch (in real life if possible). Choose one of these to focus on:
- Algebra (middle school only): Equations, constants, and variables
- Algebra: Linear, quadratic, and exponential functions
- Calculus: Limits, First Fundamental Theorem, Second Fundamental Theorem
- Geometry: Conic sections (parabola, ellipse, hyperbola)
Olympic Mathletes – Investigative Report – #2
Due February 15
What is the probability that Norway (population 4.9 million) will again win as many Gold medals as the US (population 314 million) in the upcoming Winter Olympics? Can the data explain why Austria consistently outperforms Switzerland (similar populations) in the Olympic games? In this Challenge, your team chooses one or two countries that compete in the Olympics. By researching and analyzing the data that catalogue its successes and failures, discover a story that will help to predict its future. Some things to consider: how do countries perform that try to compete in all sports versus those that choose to narrowly compete in a limited number? Are countries that only compete in one seasonal Olympics more successful than those who do both? Do you see any correlation between success and country size? Success and socio-economic development? (This Challenge can be a cross-disciplinary Challenge with your History Department)
Cut to the Chase – Police Drama Scene – #3
Due February 15
Here’s a classic word problem: Two people, located at Point A, need to get to Point C. They can walk straight to point C, or they can stop at point B where they can increase their speed, such as by finding a bike or an easier walking surface. Assuming distances are specified, which route is fastest?
Your team’s task is to re-frame, solve and extend the problem…as a scene from a police drama! In the extension to the problem, the more complex the mathematical difficulty, the more competitive your submission will be!
Inclined to Measure – Video Pitch – #4
Due April 15
A building in your town is being torn down (termites!) and then re-built to the same square footage specifications. Your team has been asked to pitch the town council on the exterior design and function of the new building. Using a team-built inclinometer, take the measurements of the height of the existing building. Then use traditional means to gather other pertinent measurements. Re-design the form and function of the building and prepare your video pitch to the town council. The pitch must include your team’s use of the inclinometer; the building’s final measurements; a model of the new design (3D model for high school teams); and, finally, your teams argument for the new function of the building…in which we encourage the teams to indulge in far-fetched fun: an ice cream testing facility? A Minecraft Museum? It’s up to you!
The Game’s Afoot – Documentary – #5
Due April 15
Math challenges abound in all of your favorite board games. For example, what are the chances of landing on Boardwalk and Park Place? How many rolls of the dice will it take to get to the billiard room to ask about Colonel Mustard with the wrench? In The Game’s Afoot, your team combines game design elements with one of the following mathematical concepts to create a new, non-electronic, math-based game:
- Building and interpreting functions
- Transformations (rotations, reflections, & translations)
- Modeling (geometric, graphical, tabular, algebraic, or statistical)
The resulting deliverable will be a documentary of the development and design process that concludes with your peers playing the actual game.