# Math-related Activities

Math-related Activities

## Classroom Activities

Write the Book on Weather Metrics

Introduces weather terminology. Invites students to investigate how we measure the weather and other characteristics of the atmosphere and create their own “Book of Weather Metrics.”

Disciplines: Math, science, technology, art

Activity: Individual creative classroom and homework assignment.

Packing for a L-o-o-o-ng Trip to Mars

Decide what you will need to take on a 2-1/2 year journey to Mars. Then plan how to fit every- thing into a 1-cubic-meter box, using only a measuring tape, pencil and paper, and math.

Disciplines: Math, space science

Activity: Group (cooperation, compromise), technical drawing, discussion

Learn how the Global Positioning System satellites work. Find out how the Topex and Jason-1 satellites use GPS data in making very precise topological maps of the oceans.

Disciplines: Earth science, geometry, space technology

Activity: Entire class, indoor, game-type demonstration

What is stereoscopic vision and why do we need it?

Disciplines: Biology, math

Activity: Pairs (in turn within large group), hands-on experiment, indoor

De-twinkling the Stars

How do astronomers remove the distortion in starlight caused by Earth's atmosphere?

Disciplines: Physics, math, Earth science, astronomy

Activity: Large group, kinesthetic, outdoor

Drawing a scale model of the orbits of the planets and some short-period comets.

Disciplines: Math, physics, astronomy

Activity: Individual and large group, hands on, indoor and outdoor. Adaptable to grades 9-12.

How do space scientists program a computer to be smart enough to make up its own mind?

Disciplines: Math, language arts, visual arts

Activity: Small groups (3-5), kinesthetic, hands-on, indoor

## On-line Activities and Amazing Facts

What is the Secret Code Used by the Voyager Spacecraft?

Learn the “secret code” spacecraft use to send images back from space. Introduces the “language” of computers and spacecraft. Binary and hexadecimal notation explained simply and clearly. Fun fact, with lots of great pictures of the planets.

What Batteries Will Last into Your Old Age?

Find out how long the special batteries being tried in space would last if you could use them in your Gameboy. Enter your age now, the number of hours you play each day, then hit the calculate button to find out how old you will be before you would have to put in new batteries.

Learn about the super “hearing” of the huge antennas used to receive the tiny signals from far away spacecraft. Get a sense of tiny fractions and decimals, such as 1 thousandth and 1 millionth.

Build your own mountain of clay or Play-Doh, then make a topo map of it. Teaches how topo maps are made and how to read them. Explains how radar is used from space to make topo maps of Earth.

See how a “skyscraper's worth” of information can be shrunk to a tiny handful without losing the important stuff. Interactive multimedia demonstration shows three different ways (algorithms) to compress data gathered by a spacecraft before sending it back to Earth.

Launch a Rocket from a Spinning Planet

Playground demonstration (using a merry-go-round) of angular momentum and why rockets are launched in a certain direction and at a certain time to take advantage of Earth's rotational velocity. Includes explanation, with animated graphics.

How Far Can a spacecraft Fly in One School Year?

(Sidebar of this page). How big a ball of yarn would you need in order to reach from right here to the Deep Space 1 spacecraft 188 million kilometers from Earth?

Vec-->Touring

By entering the required coordinates of a grid to achieve a particular route (one vector at a time), players drive their little car as fast as they can to arrive in time to see the launch of a new spacecraft. Easy, medium, and hard levels to choose from. Players learn to add and subtract vectors without even knowing that is what they are doing.

information last updated more than 6 years ago

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