As a former 8th grade math teacher and the administrator for the Middle School Problem of the Week I am very interested in how middle school students learn mathematics and communicate what they have learned.
You may wonder where we get the ideas for our problems. Well, the simple answer is that there is math all around us and when you have to create a new problem by midnight each Wednesday you begin to look closely at the math.
Sometimes our ideas come from other projects that involve Math Forum staff and teachers. This was the case for the Volume Experiment posted on October 25, 1999. This problem was developed in connection with The Math Forum's Bridging Research and Practice Group. At the time, this group was working on a videopaper entitled "Encouraging Mathematical Thinking, Discourse around a Rich Problem." You can now view this videopaper at . I hope that you will review the Volume Experiment problem, read the videopaper, and share your thoughts.
I would like tho hear ideas from teachers who have developed plans on how to best use this problem or any others with students.