December Resources for Math Teachers -2017
Week 1 - Stars
Jessica looked out her window and made her wish, "Star light, star bright first star I see tonight, grant me this wish tonight." She noticed 3 very bright stars that could be connected to form a triangle. Draw a picture of how the stars Jessica wished upon might have looked.
The brightest star in our sky is Sirius, which is 8.6 light years away. This means the light we see from Sirius left that star 8.6 years ago ... so we are kind of looking back in time!
If a light year (the distance light travels in one year) is approximately 5,878,489,000,000 miles, about how far away from Earth is the star Sirius? Explain how you know.
The vastness of space is nearly impossible to imagine. We can think about distance in several ways: miles, astronomical units (AUs) or light years. Let's explore all three in terms of how far each planet is from the Earth.
We can use astronomical units (AU) to measure the distances in space. One astronomical unit (AU) represents the mean distance between the Earth and our sun. An AU is approximately 93 million miles (150 million km). It’s approximately 8 light-minutes.
More exactly, one astronomical unit (AU) = 92,955,807 miles (149,597,871 km).
Below are the mean distances of the planets from the sun:
Mercury: 0.387 AU
Venus: 0.723 AU
Earth: 1.000 AU
Mars: 1.524 AU
Jupiter: 5.203 AU
Saturn: 9.582 AU
Uranus: 19.201 AU
Neptune: 30.047 AU
Calculate the distance in miles from the sun for each planet.
If a light year (the distance light travels in one year) is approximately 5,878,489,000,000 miles, find out how many light years away each planet is.
Which measurement is most helpful in understanding distances in space? Miles away? AUs away? Light years away? Explain your thinking.
Week 2 - The Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins won their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs by 3 points. If the Bruins scored 4 points, how many points did the Maple Leafs score? Show how you know.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are in first place with their record showing 7-2-1 wins-losses-ties. The Bruins record is 5-4-1.
What do you notice?
What do you wonder?
Describe what would need to happen in order for the Bruins to move ahead of Tampa Bay. How many games would it take for this to happen? How many wins and how many losses would need to happen for each team.
During the 2016-2017 season, the Boston Bruins played 41 games at home to an average attendance of 17,565. What could be the total number of fans to attend the home games? Show how you solved this.
Explain why attendance may be lower in certain years. Research to see if your explanation is accurate.
Week 3 - Winter Solstice
Joey noticed that every day it gets darker earlier and earlier. Today, he noticed it was dark out at 4:30. He remembers that in the summer it didn't get dark until 8:30. How much earlier does it get dark now than it did in the summer?
December 21 will be the shortest day of sunlight of the year. It is called the winter solstice. The sun will rise at 7:10 am and set at 4:15 pm. How long will the day be?
This calendar shows the sunrise and sunset times for November. Create a graph of the information. What can you conclude from this information? Justify your conclusion.