Some of the topics covered in the Math Explorations class
at Eleanor roosevelt Community Learning Center
Choosing the Class’s Favorite Dessert (i.e. voting systems)
How do you decide what a group wants?
Finding the Sum of the Angles of Polygons
What is the sum of the angles of a 33-sided polygon?
Equilateral triangles, Regular Hexagons, Dodecagons, and Flowers
Use a compass to lay out geometric figures and artistic patterns.
Learning to use a Chinese Abacus for Adding and Subtracting
(See abacus tutorial and online virtual abacus)
Knots / Shoe Tying
Have you ever looked at the knot that results if you pull out the bows?
(Learn to tie a square knot bow and a surgeon’s knot bow.)
Hunt for treasure with a map and compass.
So You Want to Be a Billionaire?
Visualizing big numbers.
On Beyond Billions
Writing and computing with numbers of any size.
Solar System Walk
Getting the sizes and distances right.
Construct Squares, Parallelograms, Rhombuses, and Parallel and Perpendicular Lines
Find more than one way to construct a square
Cut out Paper Dolls
How about alternating skirts and pants? How about a ring of paper dolls?
Perspective Drawing: I
Perspective Drawing: II
Finding vanishing points in photographs
Do quick sketches of 3-dimensional objects.
Have fun using twice as much film on your vacations (or break down and get a digital camera)!
You can draw stereo pairs in 3-D if you know the principle.
Regular camera + neutral density filter = 3-D video
How many ways can you ABCDEFG?
Think of any word in the dictionary. Learn to guess it in under 20 guesses.
If you toss five coins together, what is the probability of getting 1 tail and 4 heads?
Why do 7’s come up more often than 12’s when rolling a pair of dice?
Population Growth Simulation
Why does population growth keep getting faster and faster?
Why not just talk about whole lives?
Real Lives Simulation
The Real Lives simulation game is driven by real-life statistics and has spinoffs for students in understanding data, graph reading, and probabilities.
What is the sum of all the numbers from 1 to 1000?
Donald in Mathmagic Land
How many spirals are there in sunflowers and pine cones?
Fibonacci Rectangles & The Golden Rectangle
Perfection and approximate perfection.
Fold Models of the Platonic Solids
Golden Rectangles and 5-Pointed Stars with Compass and Straightedge
String figures and How to Make Them
Fold Equilateral Triangles, Hexagons, and Pentagons
Ellipse with String and Pins
Really cool curves!
Ellipse, Parabola, and Hyperbola by Paper Folding
Phases of the Moon
What causes the phases of the moon?
Constructing the Phases of the Moon
What will the moon look like 3 days after first quarter?
One-sided surfaces and their children
Making Small Jobs out of Big Ones
How to draw complex pictures easily and lay out murals.
Create your portrait using your vacation pictures
Distorted picture + distorted mirror = undistorted image!
Deriving the Distortion
How to lay out the grid for the funhouse mirror activity.
Through the Looking Glass
Why mirror images aren’t “on” the mirror.
Raise Your Right Hand
Are images in mirrors always mirror images? Why left-right reversed? Why not up-down reversed?
Right-Right vs. Left-Left
What two people inhabit your body?
How Tall Does a Full-Length Mirror Need To Be?
Less than you think!
Where Do They All Come From?
How many images will you see in mirrors forming a 45° or 60° wedge?
Working out maze strategies
Weave your own mazes
It’s not the numbers–it’s the logic
Model the earth under your feet
Sun dials can be simple (and approximate) or complex (and accurate)
Times and Seasons
You can better understand the motions of the earth, moon, and sun, by acting them out