## PowerPoint Games

Here are some wonderful game templates (for PowerPoint) where all you need to do is input your own Q and A. These are templates for Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Hollywood Squares and more.

Or instead of creating a review game for your students, why not have your students create their own. This would make a great end of the year project – assign pairs of students different units. Try and assign students the units you know they had a little trouble with. That way, they get a little extra review in before those dreaded exams, and on top of that, when the projects are turned in, you should have enough different review games for the rest of the year! And if you’re lucky, you may just get some that are keepers for future years as well!

## Polynomial Pictures

This would make a great project for polynomials. Students can either take or find pictures on the internet, overlay a coordinate grid and the curve and then write the function that would produce that curve. Look at more examples here.

## The Tortoise and the Hare – Systems Project

The story of the tortoise and the hare becomes a Systems of Equations project. It includes a one page explanation for the teacher and a two page handout for students. This particular story also includes a rat, so there are 3 equations to write and graph. Clear, simple assignment.

## Linear Equations – Webquest Project

Here is a Webquest project set where students can choose from 3 different topics:

Burning Calories
Buying a cell phone
NBA or WNBA Statistics

Students will gather data, write an equation and graph using EXCEL. Handouts and rubrics are included.

## All the World’s Water – Volume of a Sphere Project

This picture inspires a wonderful volume project, and can easily have scientific notation and proportions integrated into the project as well.
(1) Have students calculate the volume of the Earth.
(2) Research the amount of water that’s on the Earth (about 326 million trillion gallons according to science.howstuffworks.com)
(3) Have students calculate what size sphere would hold that volume of water
(4) Either with a computer drawing program or just on a piece of paper, have students use proportions to show the size of the Earth compared to the sphere that would hold the world’s water.

** The same thing can be done with air (atmosphere), though I couldn’t find a specific number as to the exact volume of air. But considering the atmosphere extends (very roughly) out to about 300 km (there’s more atmosphere, I’m sure, but the density of the molecules would be very negligible), simply take the radius of the Earth (6,378.1 km) to figure out the volume of the Earth, then draw another sphere around the Earth that has a radius of 6,678.1 (radius of Earth + 300) and calculate the volume of that sphere, and the difference would be the volume of the atmosphere … albeit a very rough estimation. Students shouldn’t be told this, of course!

Here’s a site with more information about the Amount of Water in/on/above the Earth.

## Google Earth and Complex Area

Here is a project by realworldmath.org. Real World Math integrates Google Earth with various math topics, this one on Complex Area. Below is a very brief excerpt from their site, but you need to visit the site itself for the full project:

Complex Area Problems – Real World Math

Objectives
•Measure distances
•Find the area of complex polygons
•Solve word problems involving rates

Lesson Description
This lesson consists of two parts. The first requires students to find the area of a complex shape using … the area formulas for a parallelogram and triangle.

The second part … Students will need to be able to solve rate problems with a proportion for this section.

## Linear Equations – Slope Project

I recently made a slope worksheet where I drew figures on a coordinate plane, and students had to state the slope of each of the sides of the figures. Then it occurred to me that this would make a really great slope project.

Students could create their own line design on a coordinate plane, and label the slopes of the lines they used. It doesn’t sound neat when stated like that, but here’s an example of what a final product might look like. (I only wrote the slope for six segments, but you get the idea).

Stained glass and linear equations (or inequalities) are fairly common, but I think keeping it just as slope might be better. Students don’t have to have lines running all across the coordinate plane since they only have state the slope for smaller line segments.

To ensure students don’t just draw a few squares, students should be given a list of criteria. For example, direct students that their design must include 6 negative sloped lines, 6 positive, 4 zero slope and 4 undefined slope lines. Or 5 pairs of parallel and 5 pairs of perpendicular lines, or some similar variation. That way students have to use different sloped lines in their designs, and it also gives them a finite number of segments they have to write the slope for. This way, they’re not penalized if they produce more complex designs.

Here’s the Sample Project word document in case you want to use it as an example or if you want to modify it. And here’s a Student Template.

## Linear Equations and Forensics – Activity or Project

There are a few standard linear equations which are often used to determine a person’s height if, for example, a human femur bone was found. Here’s an idea for a linear equation class activity or project about the relationship between the length of bones and a person’s height:
_

Information from bones (MALE)
h = 2.24F + 69.09
h = 2.39T + 81.68
h = 2.97H + 73.57
h = 3.65R + 80.41

Information from bones (FEMALE)
h = 2.23F + 61.41
h = 2.53T + 72.57
h = 3.14H + 64.98
h = 3.88R + 73.51

All measurements are in cm.
h = height
Leg bones
T = tibia (ankle to knee)
F = femur (thigh)
Arm bones
H = humerus (shoulder to elbow)
R = radius (forearm, elbow to base of thumb)

Instead of simply giving students the linear equations with numbers to plug in, I think a better idea is to have students measure the length of their own bones (and height), in centimeters. Collect the data sets (separating girls from boys) and see if they can come up with the linear equations themselves. I suppose this would be just another linear regression activity.

To turn it into a project, students can collect data from maybe 6-10 males and 6-10 females (siblings, parents, classmates, etc) and do this activity at home. This would probably be more interesting since students will all be working with different data sets. Students could then present their information on a poster, divided into four sections (one for each type of bone and linear equation).

## Scientific Notation and Planets Activity

This interactive solar system map would make a great scientific notation activity:

Solar System Scope

Using the interactive distance tool on the site, have students calculate the number of miles or kilometers from the planets to the sun, or the distance from the sun and other planets to the earth.

To incorporate scientific notation operations, with a pre-made student guide, students could be directed to find the difference between two distances, etc.

The distances are given in AU, so students will have to convert rates. And, to integrate scientific notation into the activity, just have them give answers rounded to the first three or four significant digits and then write in scientific notation.

1 Astronomical Unit = 92,955,887.6 miles
1 Astronomical Unit = 149,598,000 kilometers

Click the up arrow on the top right corner to get rid of all the annoying ads. And have students mute the sound as 30 computers playing the background sounds in one room will get annoying very quickly.

## Quadratic Equations Project: Catapults

I have always wanted to incorporate catapults into the quadratic unit, but frankly, the catapult designs I’ve always come across seemed complicated and daunting. So I was very excited to come across this design made out of craft sticks and rubber bands.

Here’s the link for video instructions:
Craft Stick Catapults

I don’t plan on buying the kits, as craft sticks and rubber bands are easy enough to get a hold of. As for the basket, I’m sure that could be made either with masking tape, or by simply gluing down a washer or a nut. As far as a good projectile, I’m thinking Skittles.

After building the catapults, students would then have to measure how far down they pull their basket (the height of the basket from the ground), the distance and time in the air of their projectile, and then model the quadratic equation.

The other thing that I really like about this design is that it makes it easy to adjust the settings. For example, since the catapults in the video are 9 craft sticks thick, students could easily change it to 8 or 10 craft sticks thick, and model those equations too. And then maybe come to some conclusion as to how many craft sticks they would need to have the projectile go x distance.
**11/10 update: Actually, I don’t think there would be a significant difference between 8, 9 or 10 craft sticks. Maybe just compare between 3 and 9 or something like that.**

Just mulling over ideas…

**11/18 update: I think this would have to be done outside to keep the skittles from bouncing around so much. Also, instead of changing the number of craft sticks, students could change the initial height of the catapult by first placing it on the ground, and then placing it on something higher, like a picnic table (there happens to be some picnic tables in the courtyard of our school).