3 October, 2014
Volume 19 No. 40
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In This Issue

World Space Week

Fermi Fun this Fall

Speak Up


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


World Space Week


3, 2, 1 ... blast off for World Space Week!

This year's global celebration marks the 15th anniversary of the United Nations' 1999 declaration that the week of 4-10 October "increase awareness of the benefits of the peaceful uses of space science and technology for sustainable development."

With the theme "Space: Guiding Your Way," World Space Week 2014 focuses on satellite navigation systems such as Global Positioning System (GPS). In the U.S., World Space Week (WSW) events range from geocaching, Halloween science shows, and a family night of paper rockets, to astronomy nights, screenings of "MAKERS: Women in Space," and Skype sessions with astronauts. Check the calendar for more than a thousand other happenings near, far, and online — or to add your own:


A collection of free resources for educators includes the WSW Teacher Activity Guide, which offers the lessons

  • Eggnaut ... or ... Houston, We May Have an Omelet!
  • Zero-G Game of Sport
  • Observation Inclinometer
  • Sundial
  • Astronomy and Soccer
  • Estimating Cloud Cover


PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week

"I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do this problem in a 5th grade classroom. What I remember most is the many varied pictures they drew! With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the pictures that you all submitted.... I'm guessing that these look pretty familiar, since many of you describe drawing similar ideas. Clarkson's picture contains four different circles, as if he were trying things out before combining all the ideas into the last circle...."
- Annie, commenting on the FunPoW's Latest Solution

Fermi Fun this Fall


Do your math students enjoy playing around with big ideas and doing projects together? Then enroll them in the Fermi Off-the-Wall Math League!

Now in its sixteenth year, this Internet-based math competition welcomes students in grades 1-9 from around the world who seek enrichment, small group work, and creative, technology-rich experiences.

A Fermi question is posed with limited information given. For example,

  • How many water balloons would it take to fill grandma's bathtub?
  • How many cockroaches will fill the trunk of a VW Beetle?
  • How much fabric would it take to make a camo-suit for Moby Dick?
  • How many eggs would fit in the Trojan Horse's body?

The six-week Fall '14 season of Fermi Math starts Tuesday, 7 October.

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"Do any stats Ts (@approx_normal @gwaddellnvhs @druinok) have good problems/lessons/projects on regression to the mean/the SI slump?"
- Max, tweeted to his followers

Speak Up


The Speak Up annual survey gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key educational issues — and to influence local, state, and federal policies and programs.

Speak Up began in 2003 under the name NetDay, then merged with Project Tomorrow. Last year, over 400,000 students, parents, educators, and librarians from more than 9,000 schools nationwide participated in this national online research project. This year's survey, which opens Monday, asks about learning with mobile devices, blended learning, gaming, coding, data privacy, and more.

Participants may request data from previous years here:


Project Tomorrow's recent reports have included "Trends in Digital Learning: Students' Views on Innovative Classroom Models" and "Speak Up 2013 National Research Project Findings: A second year review of flipped learning"; and the Congressional briefing "The New Digital Learning Playbook, Advancing College and Career Ready Skill Development in K-12 Schools 2014":


Download sample survey questions, flyers, and other promotional materials — also available in Spanish — to help spread the word:



This newsletter is provided as a service of The Math Forum, an online educational community for mathematics hosted by Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.

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