Math Mondays

Math Mondays – A Farm Problem

So I have a real-life problem from our farm and I am wondering how to make it a three act task.  (If you are into organic farming you might want to look away…as I just said this is a real-life problem 😉 )

Dan Meyers describes these type of problems as tasks happening in three acts.

Act 1:  You introduce the central conflict of your story.   (Make it visual…use as few words as possible.)

IMG_0989
Acres and acres of weeds

Act 2:  The student looks for resources, asks questions and develops new tools…to overcome the problem.

Notice I said students, but for now I am just going to tell you the tools we have and the question we asked.

TOOLS:  200 gallon tank on a sprayer with a 30 foot span, 19 sprayer heads, each sprayer head disperses treatment at 0.36 gallons per minute, 3 pints of weed killer per acre, and the intention to drive 3.5 miles per hour

Our question:  How many pints of weed killer do we need to add to the 200 gallon tank?

Act 3: Resolve the conflict…and set up for a sequel.

                My work and Greg’s work

We both got the same answers.  YAY!!!!  And both used dimensional analysis…I love using dimensional analysis.

So what would be appropriate photos for acts 2 and 3?   What about photo 1?

And what would be a sequel?

And actually now that I think about it…it would be interesting to see the questions, resources and tools the more organic minded folks would ask/use.

Math Mondays

Math Mondays – Fractals

One of my favorite undergrad classes at North Central College was Chaos Theory.   I loved (still do) the idea that we can describe chaos.   One of the assignments of the class was to design our own fractal and then determine its fractional dimension.

Inspired by the Koch Snowflake, I set out to create something similar with a hexagon.   This was in the early 90’s so I had a computer, but none of the apps we have today.   So I st out to construct my “snowflake” by hand.  I used my protractor, a ruler and a very large sheet of paper and set out to create the next big (i.e., most important) fractal in the world!  FAIL.  Turns out it had a dimension of one.   Now if you are wondering why I didn’t know this before I spent a weekend drawing and redrawing the dang then…well…you just don’t know me!   I take my time and do things the hard way or the long way or the illogical way!   But I eventually get there!

Not sure why I shared this story other than this problem from my license review test had me reliving my glory days.  (Hey there are athletic glory days…why not math geek glory days?)

Here’s the problem:Koch

Here’s my work:

So many things have changed since my college days.   However, I am still fascinated by fractals and I still prefer to do my work in pen!   What can I say?  I live on the edge…of chaos!

Sigh Yup.   I just wrote that.

Oh and in case you are wondering…I selected D.