Time Travel

This quarter, I’m letting kids — totally optionally — do a more in depth Explore Math. This time it isn’t getting a “taste” of a bunch of little things, but rather it’s explore one thing in detail. Anything math related that kids are interested.

Today and yesterday, I had three different meetings with a few different kids who wanted to discuss options. These conversations revolved around:

  • Park Effects on baseball batters (sports statistics)
  • Understanding why a particular algorithm creates the math art pictures it does
  • The Goldbach Conjecture and the Collatz Conjecture
  • Time dilation (and time travel)
  • How restaurants do their finances and stay in business

Super fun conversations, with kids who just want to learn stuff that they’re fascinated by. For example, the kid who wanted to talk about the Goldbach conjecture said that he wanted to work on proving the Goldbach conjecture (“I will not give up!” he wrote) — and the reason he wanted to do this is because he always had trouble with prime numbers and understanding them. Melting! MELTING!

Previous posts about Explore Math:
https://samjshah.com/2014/02/12/explore-mathematics/
https://samjshah.com/2014/04/11/explore-math-reprise/
https://samjshah.com/2014/04/25/explore-mathematics-part-ii/

The site that launched Explore Math (mini explorations) last quarter for my kids:
http://explore-math.weebly.com/

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5 comments

  1. I LOVE this idea! Maybe sometime we can talk about scaffolding ideas for a special education population!

    I’m also obsessed with time travel so if your student finds out the first step in making my time machine (ie how fast I need to travel to separate from other’s experience/perception of time) let me know!

  2. Sam: I absolutely love the website that you created to help your students explore various mathematical topics! I am hoping to modify a project that I do at the end of the year in my Precalc class (before they are introduced to the History of Calculus). I open by having students read portions of the graphic novel, Logicomix (if you haven’t read it yet, this book brilliantly brings together various topics: infinity, philosophy and math, theater/drama, etc). I’ve then had students engage in the debate: Newton vs. Leibniz (referencing articles that you actually posted about a while back). However, I’m now hoping to allow my students to explore topics that they are truly interested in (so that they are not confined to the Calculus debate). I hope you don’t mind if I reference your website? Thank you for always sharing such innovative and thoughtful projects on your blog!

    1. Hi!!! You are totally able to use anything and everything — how flattering! I am definitely going to read Logicomix. I keep seeing it but never have bought it!

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