Below are summaries of the five Mathematics Challenges for the upcoming school year. Please keep in mind these three things:
- The full Challenges will deliver considerably more detail in terms of Challenge Terms, Range of Activities, Essential Questions, Student Outcomes, Development and Production Process, Curricular Correlations and Evaluation Rubrics.
- The website is expanding its offerings of support documents and Innovator and Artist videos that will assist students and teachers in the completion of these Challenges.
- The dates in parentheses are the due dates and may shift. However, please keep in mind that classes can actually produce the Challenges well before the due dates, if desired: there are no defined starting dates. They simply must be submitted by the due dates.
OK, enough on the peripherals…read on!
The number pi (π) has just won a “Lifetime Achievement Award” since (although not always known) it has existed forever and appears in countless places. Pi has agreed to be interviewed for the first time ever and it is up to your group to conduct an engaging, informative interview with pi about its history, its identity as a number, and its applications and appearances in the real world/nature.
In designing this video, the teams must:
- Choose exactly how to personify pi – as simply a voice, as a person, as an object etc.
- Choose the exact media format to use – a talk show, a newscaster reporting on location, etc.
- Identify and show 3 specific instances of where pi appears in their community/in nature in order to further express the impact of pi.
- High school groups: If applicable to the class, include applications of pi in trigonometry.
Here’s a conundrum: A biologist has put a single bacterium in a jar with unlimited nutrients at 11:00 pm. The bacteria double every minute. The jar is exactly full at midnight (an hour later). At what time was the jar half full?
- A) 11:30 pm
- B) 11:45 pm
- C) 11:59 pm
Only one of the above answers is correct. Create a video (about 3 minutes) of a game show that answers this question on exponential growth as well as one (Middle School) and two (High School) questions more, which the group will create.
The game show will have 3 so-called math experts. For each question, one expert will tell the truthful answer, while the other two experts will try and sell the viewer on the veracity of their incorrect answers.
In the end, the truth teller should stand, thereby revealing the correct answer.
The Pythy Textbook Company is updating their mathematics textbook for Middle Schoolers. Their research has told them that their students don’t understand or care about the Pythagorean Theorem. They have turned to you – the students’ peers – to help them explain this Theorem in ways that will relate to Middle Schoolers
Your team’s job is to create a 1 – 2 minute commercial explaining the Pythagorean Theorem, its relevance to the lives of Middle Schoolers, your chosen proof (High School teams only) and why you recommend using it.
In this Storyboard Challenge, you need to create a story, including characters, setting, and plot, around the following dilemma: You need to find the area of a ring – shape. The only measurement given is the length of a chord that is tangent to the inner circle (100 units).
For example, there is a circular lake with a circular island in the middle of it. You are a villain and want to poison the water, but you must know the area of the lake in order to determine the amount of poison to inject into the water.
Create a 10 to 15 frame storyboard of your story including an explanation of and solution to the problem.
Challenge #5 – Geometric Design for a Public Space (May 31)
This Challenge asks your team to imagine that your community has found an empty space that they would like to use for the benefit of the youth in the community. They have initiated a contest, hoping for submissions of possible ideas on how best to use the space. The community is only accepting video submissions.
Create a submission using Prezi, PowerPoint and/or video, in which your group presents your proposed design. This Challenge involves:
- Finding an empty space in your community, which, if funding were available, could be utilized for the youth.
- Coming up with a plausible idea and create a 2D design (Middle School)/3D model (High School) that represents how the idea would be implemented.
- Scale: Instead of using standard units (feet, inches, etc.), create a new unit related to your project.
- For example, if you are proposing to build a skate park, your units could be in skateboards.
Your design must be detailed and precise. It should include every length measurement, every area calculation, and every volume calculation (if applicable).