Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Math ideas run rampant with GPS in education! One helpful resource I've found is the edublog here, but it is currently down for repair. Below are some ideas gleaned from this site:

• Calculate the perimeter or area of your school or other large area - you could
even use the area calculation to estimate the volume of water that hits that area
during a 1" rainstorm!

• Calculate the slope of a hill, using the trip information page. It will show you
how far you have walked, and you can note the change in elevation. After that, let the power of the Pythagorean
Theorem guide you!

• Magic of Nine (GCGJPT) Geocache
(http://www.geocaching.com/seek/
cache_details.aspx?wp=GCGJPT).
Through some mathematical trick, the
procedure outlined in the cache
description will give correct
coordinates, even thgough the input
numbers could be different. Can
anyone explain to me how this one
works?

• Create a path, and at each turn, tell
your partner the angle to measure to
make the next turn. Could each
member of the team retrace the
correct path?

• Create a multi-cache, and require
students to do different math functions
or problems to come up with the
correct numbers for the next location.
• Have students walk and plot on the
map the endpoints of a given shape
(triangle, rhombus, parallelogram,
circle, etc.) and see their results. (My
addition - using Google Earth, plot the
coordinates and enter them into the
GPS units. Have students go from
point to point and see how the shape
that they walked compares to the
shape that they plotted.)

• Calculate the distance between 2
points, then calculate the legs using
Pythagoreans Theorem

• Calculate the height of an object

• Calculate or find the elevations of
different points and graph those
elevations.

• Area: Have students go outside and
step off an area, graph it, and find the
area. Use the GPS to walk the same
area to see how close you
were with the first estimate.

• (Elementary) Use the units to
practice or learn cardinal
directions of N, S, E, & W.

• Practice adding and
subtracting 3 digit numbers to
come up with GPS
coordinates to travel
from one cache or
location to another.

• Use a Sudoku
puzzle to give cache
coordinates - replace
the first needed digit in the
puzzle with an A, second number with
a B, and so on until the full
coordinates are given.