Wednesday, January 27, 2016

NASA Mathematics Teacher Guides: Authentic glimpses into mathematics applications

Did you know that NASA has a bunch of teacher guides with practical mathematics applications in space science? I came across their booklet on transit math:
Although planets, stars and other celestial bodies move through space in complicated ways, space is so vast that rarely do such bodies collide. However, when someone watches these movements from a distant vantage point, it sometimes looks as though collisions occur because of the perspective. The introduction of Transit Math clearly explains the apparent "collisions," eclipses, transits and occultations to middle school students. The variety of concepts in this 44-problem collection includes synodic periods, planetary conjunctions, geometry, fractions, linear equations and probability. The problems are authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. Each word problem includes background information. The one-page assignments are accompanied by one-page teachers answer keys.

They also have ones focused on the mathematics of black holes, astrobiology, the moon, sun, mars, space weather, and more!  If you have a kid who's into space, or want to show your class some exciting real world applications of the math they're studying, check them out! NASA does a lot of education work!

Thanks to Tiffany Petty for sharing this resource.

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