Physics in the Mathematics Curriculum Summary
Monday, July 1, 2002
Introductions: Sue Mussach, Trish Cato, Shireen Dadmehr, Victoria Siroy,
Brian Hopkins, Nicholas Savatore, Steve Jackson, Pat Cannon
Discussed our objective: open ended at present, by the end of today, we
hope to have a focus if not stated objective, for our efforts here
through these three weeks.
Problem and Activity How many pinto beans do we need to purchase to fill
our meeting room (coalition 4)? Broke into two groups collected data on
room size, plan, etc.
Answer: 4.34 x 108 beans +/- 2141000 beans
- What effect does miscounting 2 beans per 100 cubic centimeters?
- What effect does mismeasuring length by 1 cm have on entire answer?
- What effect does mismeasuring length and width by 1 cm have?
- What effect does mismeasuring length and width and height by 1 cm have?
- What other factors may effect the accuracy of your answer?
- How certain are you of your answer?
- Penny toss activity is another example of uncertainty of answer (Pat
- Where should you spend your most time and effort in measuring (counting
beans, measuring lengths)?
Assessment of Activity: Rubric???
What mathematics does this activity require of students?
- Precision, accuracy, uncertainty
- Estimation (that doesn=t sound right)
- Area and volume formulas
- Scientific notation
- Problem solving
- Real life application
What students can complete this activity?
- Perhaps prealgebra
Discuss the group dynamics of your experience.
- How did you feel when ...?
- What would you do differently if you were repeating this activity?
- How does group activity affect assessment?
Where are we going in our working group?
Our purpose is to provide some resource to mathematics teachers.
- Using physics as a context to present and study the concept of function
(linear, quadratic, logarithmic, inverse, power, etc.) Create
activities with simple materials to develop and demonstrate functional
relationships. Something to keep in mind: create activities which can
be approached from a variety of levels (elem. algebra, honors algebra,
- Physics the middle school mathematics teacher needs to know.
- Physics the high school mathematics teacher needs to know.
- Develop a set of problem of the week from physics which allows students
problem solving experiences tied to mathematics curriculum.
- What do physics teachers do in teaching that drives mathematicians
- What do mathematicians teachers do in teaching that drives physicists
- Steve Jackson
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808.
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