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Using real world data in math

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Using real world data in math

Sara Turnbull

Andy Albee

- August 1, 2007 – Twins Vs. Kansas City Royals
- I picked up my wife Laura at 5:20
- 35W is packed due to construction on the bridge.
- HW 65 over the river and 2nd St. to Dinkytown
- Eat at the Quarry
- 35W still packed at 6:20 pm
- Back to the game via HW65

- Wewill set up with materials and instructions
- Each group will make two bridges and test them (three if we have time).
- In a regular class, we would do more bridges
- We will analyze the data
- Introduce averages and graphing
- Introduce interpolation and extrapolation.

Each group should have:

- 6 sheets of 4x11 inch paper
- 50 pennies
- 1 dixie cup
- 2 video tapes
- 1 record sheet

- When engineers are planning to build something, they need to test the materials they will use to know the abilities of the material.
- Today we will test the strength of different thicknesses of paper bridges.
- We could also test span length, different materials, shapes, or other properties.

- Set the video tapes on edge to form a span approximately 9 inches apart.
- Fold the right and left edges of the paper to the middle, forming a U shape two inches wide, one inch tall and 11 inches long.

- Place the bridge so that the 11 inch bridge spans the video tapes and aligns with their edges.
- Place dixie cup gently in the middle of the bridge.

- SLOWLY and GENTLY add one penny at a time to the cup.
- Record in the data sheet the number of pennies that it took for the bridge to collapse.

- Fold two pieces of paper into the U shape and suspend them, one on top of the other for double thickness, between the tapes.
- Again test the collapse weight of the bridge and record the data on the sheet.
- Fold three pieces of paper and test a three thickness bridge.

- We will record the data for the class and calculate the average value for each thickness of bridge.
- Since data can be varied the averages over many trials should give us a reasonable value.

- A quick way to look at data and analyze results is to graph the data.
- Plot the points on the graph paper on your sheet with the thickness on the horizontal axis (independent variable) and collapse weight on the vertical axis (dependent variable).
- Draw a line through what seems to be the middle of the points. This is called the line of best fit and it is approximate. (Excel is great at this)

- These are fancy words that mean looking between your data and outside of your data (assuming that the data would continue)
- Choose what value of pennies you believe a bridge 1.5 or 2.5 sheets thick would hold.
- Determine what value of pennies you believe that a bridge 4 or 5 sheets thick would hold.

- Was the activity fun?
- Would it be easy to do with students?
- Is the math understandable?
- Is the activity valuable?
- Is there anything that we could have done differently?