Q&A #3790

Advanced Math projects

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From: Marielouise (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Apr 25, 2000 at 22:27:33
Subject: Re: Advanced Math projects

Hi, Renae,

I don't have seven ideas but here are some.

Have the students get in touch with the local weather TV forecasters and see
if they can get the average high temperatures or low temperatures for the
year for your town or area. Perhaps for every Monday or every other Monday.  
If this is still too much to ask, request data for the 1st and 16th of every
month  Perhaps they could get the time that the sun rises or the sun sets
over the year.   This type of information is sinusoidal.  Having found the
data, the students could plot and figure out the function that would model
this data.  I would suggest that they do it by "hand" and then confirm by a
curve fitting function on their calculator or computer.

Another idea that I stole from David Heckman in New England is to take random
selection of stacks of cups. They all need to be the same size and type. For
each selection count the number of cups and measure the height of the cup.
Graph the data.  Write a function to fit the data.  Predict how tall a stack
of 1000 would be!

If you use TI calculators go the TI site:


and search for lessons covering your topics.

I once had a student research a months section of the obituaries in the local
newspaper and see the number of months a person was away from a birthday.  Is
this information constant or is there some pattern to it.

Another student looked at marriage application and graphed the age of the
female vs. the male in each application.  Is there anything to be observed?

Students who have had some statistics could ask students in school, the
staff, their parents, neighbors to draw a 60 degree angle on a sheet of
paper. Collect the papers and measure the angles with a protractor. How
accurate are the results?   Is there a variation in the results within or
among age groups?

I hope that this has started you thinking.

What is most important is the questions the students ask, the collection of
the data, how they organize the data and how they present their results in
written form at the end of the experiment.  Don't go looking for the jazzed
up version.  Students do not have to do posterboards (I prefer that they not
use posterboard as they are not transportable.)   The most important part of
all of these projects is that they confirmed what they thought was true, they
found out what they thought was true is not true, they found out something
that they did not expect, AND they are able to communicate this to you and
everyone else in a coherent well written form

-Marielouise, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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