Elementary Mathematics-Science SMILE Meeting
09 March 1999
Notes Prepared by Earl Zwicker

Section A:

Winifred Malvin (Herzl School)
Crystal Formation.
She took lessons out of the book Crystals and Crystal Gardens You Can Grow by Jean Stangl [Franklin Watts 1990]: ISBN 0-531-108899. She also gave a telephone number for Science in a Nutshell; [800] 442-5444.

the idea was to mix 3 tablespoons of water, 3 tablespoons of laundry blueing, 3 tablespoons of salt, and then 1 tablespoon of ammonia. Then, crush a piece of aluminum foil and place into a container. Slowly spoon solution over the materials, while stirring it, and without pouring it. You should see salt crystals form, get bigger, and recrystallize around the bits of blue powder. You are observing dissolving, followed by recrystallization BE SURE TO USE GOGGLES!.

Carolyn McBride (Maniere School)
Measuring Areas of Hand and Foot
Draw the outline of your hand and foot on a sheet of "centimeter square" graph paper. By counting the number of squares inside plus half those partially contained by the tracings, determine the area of your hand and foot in square-centimeters. The hand areas ranged about 125 square-centimeters, whereas the foot area were around 150 square-centimeters.Form a data table of "hand area" versus "foot area", and draw a graph of the data for all students in the class. It was found that hand area is proportional to foot area, with a small spread to represent individualization.

Rosalyn Winston (Disney School)
Multi-Cultural Math box
Presentation level was K-4, with use of computers. The object was to use diversity in terms of math. She used a poster with a Map of a Maze, and one with a Map of Egypt.

Camille Gales (Coles School)
Air Takes Space
She placed a balloon inside a plastic bottle, after placing a small hole in the bottle. Then, she blew into the balloon. Then she covered the hole and again blew into the balloon. The results were different in the two cases.

Line the inside of a cup with plastic wrap, and secure it to the outside of the cup with a rubber band. Then, reach inside the cup and pull the plastic wrap out of the cup. Observe the results

Place a small amount of water [tablespoon full] into a pop can, with the hot pan placed on a hot pan until you see steam. With plastic tongs, pick up the can and plunge it top first into cold water. What happens?

These experiments illustrates that air produces forces that can be used to push things.

Section B:

Al Tobecksen (Richards Voc HS)
First, he showed us a plane with four rows of pegs, with 7 -5 -3 -1 pegs in each row. The object is for you and your opponent to take turns in removing pegs. You must remove at least one peg each time, but you may take them out only from one row. The last person to remove pegs loses.

Then, he showed the use of a carpenter's L-Square (16 inches X 24 inches) and a yardstick in illustrating the Pythagorean Theorem. The sides a, b, and hypotenuse c are related by

a2 + b2 = c2

for cases in which a, b, and c are integers. Here are some values within easy access:
 a b c 3 4 5 5 12 13 8 15 17 9 12 15 10 24 26 11 16 17 12 16 20 15 20 25

Janet Sheard (Glencoe West) Janet told us she was in year #34 as a teacher [but not that she started teaching at age 8!].
A. Classifying Objects
She gave 7 bags with identical contents to 7 different groups for classification. Classification involves the following steps: observing; gathering data; comparing; discussing; inferring. In particular, note: similarities and differences; characteristics found. The goals are

• divide the objects into 2 categories by one feature
• then divide objects into 2 categories by another feature.
Here are examples of properties: texture, shape, size, and shade. Universal features were: being inside bag, right angle somewhere, smooth surface. Dividing features were: short-long, round-flat, and edged-rounded. The bag actually contained the following objects:
• big paper clip
• penny
• yellow chalk
• white chalk
• safety pen
• envelope
• card
• solid chip
• toothpick
• yellow plastic cube

B: Concepts of Force and Work
When we push on the wall or push on the chalk board, nothing appears to happen, but a force is still present. However, when we pull a chair across the room, the applied force results in movement, or "work". When the wind blows your hat off your head and to the East, the wind force has done work in moving the hat Eastward.

Porter Johnson (IIT)
Dropping Coffee Filters.
When we take a pack of coffee filters [generic ones are cheaper], remove one filter, and drop it, we notice that it drifts down to the floor: By putting several filters together, and trying various things, we notice the following things:

• 2 filters fall faster than 1 filter
• 3 filters fall faster than 2 filters
• the filter flips over in mid-air when dropped face down

Pearline Scott (Franklin School)
Categorization by Colors.
[blue, yellow, red, white]. We made the following list:

 blue things yellow things red things white things eyes sun apples snow water light bulbs watermelon walls marbles taxicabs sunset undershirt jewels lemons traffic light sky leaves/fall dandelions