Science of the Winter Olympic Games
The XXII Olympic Winter Games begin in two weeks, so get ready
for the trumpet fanfare — and the math!
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and NBC Learn have
partnered to release a 10-part video collection that delves
into the mathematics, physics, engineering, chemistry, and
design behind the world's foremost sporting event.
Running about five minutes in length, each video features a
university scientist explaining a selected scientific
principle, while current Olympians describe how these
principles apply to their events.
Videos cover slopestyle skiing — one of the twelve new winter
sports in these Olympics — as well as
half pipe snowboarding, with Shaun White
figure skating, with Meryl Davis, Gracie Gold, Evan
Lysacek, Ashley Wagner, and Charlie White
bobsledding, with Steve Holcomb and Steve Langton
Relevant highlight clips of the world's top athletes and record
holders enliven every video, along with slow-motion, high-speed
camerawork that allows for frame-by-frame illustration.
PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week
"Carlisle's explanation is nicely written and very easy to
follow.... Erik's solution is organized by statements that say
what he wants to find with each step, and then a calculation
that accompanies the statement. It's a lot like Agnes's
solution, though she wrote her statements in the form of
questions.... Anna A. of Great Neck uses a table.... Phew! You
might be wondering how it is that different starting points
resulted in the same answer. How is it that you can change the
order of the steps? Well, this is because...."
- Annie, commenting on the FunPoW's Latest Solution
Practice PARCC Sample Test Questions Online
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and
Careers (PARCC) has posted sample test items on the testing
platform that it anticipates some 1.2 million students in 14
states — roughly 10 percent of third through eleventh graders
across the consortium — will begin taking in late March as
part of an effort to develop their states' future assessments.
Want to give it a go now? First, choose a device compatible
with the hardware and software requirements of PARCC's test:
Take the tutorial, and then click the "sample items" tab to
freely engage the math items using computer-based tools such as
an equation editor that handles mixed numbers, interval
notation, Greek symbols, and more
an "answer eliminator," which eliminates choices from
multiple choice questions
a ruler and a protractor that can be dragged and
rotated into position
a flag to make it easier to come back to an item later
Now taking place: math education conversation of the day
"In my experience, the easiest way to tell if a calculator is
'legal' is to type something like the square root of 20, and if
it gives you 2 radical 5, then it is NOT legal."
- Peggy, posted to the secondary (grades 9-12) discussion
group of the Association of Math Teachers of New York State
MATHCOUNTS Math Video Challenge
Formerly the Reel Math Challenge, the Math Video Challenge
invites teams of U.S. sixth, seventh, or eighth graders to make
five minute-long clips that teach the solution to — and
demonstrate the real-world application of — one of the 300
problems from the 2013-2014 MATHCOUNTS School Handbook, freely
Difficulty ratings and alignments to the Common Core State
Standards (CCSS) appear in the Problem Index, which begins on
page 82 of the handbook.
Submit your students' videos to this free competition,
courtesy of MATHCOUNTS and lead sponsor the Department of
Defense, before voting starts on Tuesday, 4 February.
For Frequently Asked Questions and a link to the official