Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Hexaflexagons - back by popular demand!

We seem to have a holiday tradition of making hexaflexagons!

Here is a link to my favourite template for making tri-hexaflexagons:

Vi Hart's video about Hexaflexagons:

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Hour of Code Activities

Here are some great activities from code.org especially for the Hour of Code:
These are some fun activities that use mazes:
For students who have done Hour of Code in past years, who like math, and who are looking for a real challenge:

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

On-line Math Games

These are some good on-line math games from websites other than Caribou Math.
These games are fun but won't work on a tablet because they need Flash or arrow keys:

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Forces and Friction

What is a force?
What is friction?
Why do your hands warm up when you rub them together?

Simple Machines - Research Starring Point

With your group, using the links below as your starting point, prepare answers to the following questions to share with the class:
  1. What is the mechanical advantage of your simple machine? How does it make work easier?
  2. What is the cost of making that work easier?
  3. What are examples of your simple machine in everyday life?
  4. How could you include this simple machine in a Rube-Goldberg Machine?





Wheel and Axle
- Can you also find out about how the wheel and axle is like a lever?

Incline Plane

Here is an overview of the classical simple machines:

Monday, 15 October 2018

Leaf Chromatography

In the autumn when leaves change colours, it is interesting to see if we can separate out all of the different colours that are found in leaves.

Here are some simple instructions for elementary school aged children to perform their own leaf chromatography experiment:

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Potential and Kinetic Engergy

When making a Rube-Goldberg machine, it is important to remember to think about where the energy to keep your machine going will come from.

Learn about potential  and kinetic  energy:
Here's a explanation of elastic potential energy:
The force of friction will also be important to consider:

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Rube-Goldberg Motivation

Here are some really neat videos to give ideas about how to build a Rube-Goldberg machine:

A longer video showcasing a number of more complicated machines:
Steven Price ("Sprice") has developed a number of well-done Rube-Goldberg machines. His YouTube channel can be found here:
This is a short example that has a lot of ideas that are easy for students to create with everyday objects:

Organizing an Astronaut's Life

Astronauts need to be very wise in their use of time when in space. Crews on earth plan the daily tasks that every astronaut must complete every day, in five-minute intervals. Times for meals, exercise, sleep and free-time are all planned. This article explains some of the things that must be considered when scheduling an astronaut's day:

In his book "Endurance", astronaut Scott Kelly talks about the challenges of returning to daily life on earth, after living about the ISS for a year, because he was suddenly responsible for organizing his own time.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Chris Hadfield - An Astronaut's Guide to Life in Space Videos

Canadian Chris Hadfield was a NASA astronaut who filmed numerous videos while he was living on the International Space Station in 2013. Here are a selection:

For more videos, go to Chris Hadfield's website:

Balancing Apples

Fall is a time I look forward to because fresh Ontario apples become readily available!

Sometimes it is fun to do other things with apples, rather that just eat them. Here's an activity to try that uses paper apples to do a cool "trick":

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Paper Helicopters

Here are some great instructions for making a paper helicopter and interesting questions to explore once it is made:

More About Rockets

What it is like to ride in the Soyuz rocket into orbit, as told by Chris Hadfield:

How fins can help a model rocket:
Landing of a Soyuz capsule:

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Paper Rocket Areodynamics

How can a simple paper rocket be created? How can the design be changed to make the rocket fly farther and with more stability?

Check out these interesting links!

Watch a Soyuz rocket launch:

Simple instructional video of how to build a paper rocket:
Background information:

Friday, 20 April 2018

Friday, 6 April 2018

Tomatosphere Experiment

Since 2001, students across Canada and the United States have been testing how exposure to space or space-like conditions affects the germination rate of tomatoes.

Here is the introductory video:
Here is the Tomatosphere home page

Interactive, computer-simulated tomato growing experiments:

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Flood Fill Practise

Here is a Flood Fill style game to practice for the Caribou Contest. You will need to enable Flash for it to work. It's not quite the same as the contest, but it is fun to practice with.
For the actual contest, it will be this Flood Fill game:

Monday, 5 March 2018

Pi Day 2018

Although school will be out for March Break on Pi Day (March 14), we will celebrate as soon as we return.
  • Special recognition of students who memorize digits of pi (Link to a helpful song)
  • Some excellent Pi Day activities from the centre where is all started - Exploratorium
  • Check out the Pi Day website for many, many interesting things about pi!
Pi Day Mathematical Jokes:
  • Can you recite pi? Yes! Apple, cherry, blueberry...
  • 3.14 percent of sailors are pi-rates.
  • What is the official animal of Pi Day? The pi-thon.
  • The mathematician says, “Pi r squared.” The baker replies, “No, pies are round. Cakes are square."
  • What do you get when you take a bovine and divide its circumference by its diameter? A cow pi.
  • Do you know any statistics jokes? Yeah, but they're mean.
  • What do you get when you take the sun and divide its circumference by its diameter? Pi in the sky.
  • Never talk to pi. He'll go on forever.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Cool Optical Illusions

Here are some interesting optical illusions:
These really show us that is it our brain, as well as our eyes, that is needed to see!

Ball Launcher Challenge

This year, students, working in pairs, will participate in the Science Buddies Ball Launcher Challenge.

Here is a link to the introductory video:

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Arithmeic Practice

To hep practice for the Caribou Math Contest (and for math class in general), here is an arithmetic practice game that is simple, configurable (and at the time of this posting, ad-free):

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Starting with Spheros

Spheros are small, remotely programmable robots that about the size and shape of a tennis ball.

When you first want to program a Sphero using the SpheroEdu app, a good place to start is:
During the above activity you will be asked to program your Sphero to go in a square.

Tangram Resource

Here's a great collection of tangram puzzles!
Dedicated followers of this blog may remember Aunt Annie's page from our hexaflexagon fun.