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  • Measurement
About Accuracy and Approximation
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Educational Use
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Students learn about the concepts of accuracy and approximation as they pertain to robotics, gain insight into experimental accuracy, and learn how and when to estimate values that they measure. Students also explore sources of error stemming from the robot setup and rounding numbers.

Subject:
Mathematics
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ronald Poveda
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Accuracy of Carbon 14 Dating II
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

This task is a refinement of ``Carbon 14 dating'' which focuses on accuracy. Because radioactive decay is an atomic process modeled by the laws of quantum mechanics, it is not possible to know with certainty when half of a given quantity of Carbon 14 atoms will decay. This type of question is very important in science and it also provides an opportunity to study the very subtle question of how errors behave when applying a function: in some cases the errors can be magnified while in others they are lessened.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Illustrative Mathematics
Provider Set:
Illustrative Mathematics
Author:
Illustrative Mathematics
Date Added:
09/13/2012
Applying Statistics to Nano-Circuit Dimensions in Fabrication
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Measuring the dimensions of nano-circuits requires an expensive, high-resolution microscope with integrated video camera and a computer with sophisticated imaging software, but in this activity, students measure nano-circuits using a typical classroom computer and (the free-to-download) GeoGebra geometry software. Inserting (provided) circuit pictures from a high-resolution microscope as backgrounds in GeoGebra's graphing window, students use the application's tools to measure lengths and widths of circuit elements. To simplify the conversion from the on-screen units to the real circuits' units and the manipulation of the pictures, a GeoGebra measuring interface is provided. Students export their data from GeoGebra to Microsoft® Excel® for graphing and analysis. They test the statistical significance of the difference in circuit dimensions, as well as obtain a correlation between average changes in original vs. printed circuits' widths. This activity and its associated lesson are suitable for use during the last six weeks of the AP Statistics course; see the topics and timing note below for details.

Subject:
Mathematics
Statistics and Probability
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Cunjiang Yu
Miguel R. Ramirez
Minwei Xu
Song Chen
Date Added:
02/17/2021
Be “Cool” with Popsicle Engineering
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Educational Use
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Beginning kindergarteners are introduced to science and engineering concepts through questions such as “What is a Scientist?” and “What is an Engineer?”, and go on to compare and contrast the two. They are introduced to five steps of the engineering design process and explore these steps using the “I do, we do, you do” set of guided instruction. At the end of the project, students produce a set of purple popsicles that they design using various materials and by following a set of criteria.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Amy Bliss
Date Added:
06/18/2019
Bianca Goes to the Movie
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Educational Use
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This Cyberchase video segment features Bianca, who must figure out the fastest route to a movie premiere.

Subject:
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
U.S. Department of Education
WNET
Date Added:
09/25/2008
Building a Barometer
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Students investigate the weather from a systems approach, learning how individual parts of a system work together to create a final product. Students learn how a barometer works to measure the Earth's air pressure by building a model using simple materials. Students analyze the changes in barometer measurements over time and compare those to actual weather conditions. They learn how to use a barometer to understand air pressure and predict actual weather changes.

Subject:
Earth and Space Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Glen Sirakavit
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Megan Podlogar
Date Added:
10/14/2015
A Cage to Save a Whale
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Educational Use
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In this Cyberchase video segment, the CyberSquad must estimate the measurements of Spout the Whale in order to find a cage that will fit him.Ű_í_

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
U.S. Department of Education
WNET
Date Added:
07/10/2008
Calculating Rectangular Area
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Educational Use
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In this video segment from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad measures Judge Trudy's land claim by using tarps, fence posts and a grid made with rope.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
U.S. Department of Education
WNET
Date Added:
07/07/2008
Calories in a sports drink
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

This problem involves the meaning of numbers found on labels. When the level of accuracy is not given we need to make assumptions based on how the information is reported. The goal of the task is to stimulate a conversation about rounding and about how to record numbers with an appropriate level of accuracy, tying in directly to the standard N-Q.3. It is therefore better suited for instruction than for assessment purposes.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Illustrative Mathematics
Provider Set:
Illustrative Mathematics
Author:
Illustrative Mathematics
Date Added:
01/05/2013
Catching the Kidnapper
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Educational Use
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In this video segment from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad and Digit construct a physical profile of the person who kidnapped Choocroca, a giant cybercrocodile.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
U.S. Department of Education
WNET
Date Added:
09/10/2008
Close Enough?
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Educational Use
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Accuracy of measurement in navigation depends very much on the situation. If a sailor's target is an island 200 km wide, sailing off center by 10 or 20 km is not a major problem. But, if the island were only 1 km wide, it would be missed if off just the smallest bit. Many of the measurements made while navigating involve angles, and a small error in the angle can translate to a much larger error in position when traveling long distances.

Subject:
Practitioner Support
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Computer Accuracy
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Educational Use
Rating

Accuracy of measurement in navigation depends very much on the situation. If a sailor's target is an island 200 km wide, sailing off center by 10 or 20 km is not a major problem. But, if the island were only 1 km wide, it would be missed if off just the smallest bit. Many of the measurements made while navigating involve angles, and a small error in the angle can translate to a much larger error in position when traveling long distances.

Subject:
Practitioner Support
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lippis
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Cooking Contest
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Educational Use
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In this Cyberchase video segment, Matt uses subtraction to help Digit figure out how much time he has left in a cooking contest with Hacker.

Subject:
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
U.S. Department of Education
WNET
Date Added:
09/22/2008
Design Weather Instruments Using LEGO Sensors
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Educational Use
Rating

Student teams design and create LEGO® structures to house and protect temperature sensors. They leave their structures in undisturbed locations for a week, and regularly check and chart the temperatures. This activity engages students in the design and analysis aspects of engineering.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Digit in Pursuit
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Educational Use
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The CyberSquad tracks Digital position in time and then studies graphs to figure out what Hacker is scheming in this video from Cyberchase.

Subject:
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
U.S. Department of Education
WNET
Date Added:
09/25/2008
Dinosaur Bones
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

The purpose of this task is to illustrate through an absurd example the fact that in real life quantities are reported to a certain level of accuracy, and it does not make sense to treat them as having greater accuracy.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Illustrative Mathematics
Provider Set:
Illustrative Mathematics
Author:
Illustrative Mathematics
Date Added:
05/01/2012
Discovering Phi: The Golden Ratio
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Educational Use
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Students discover the mathematical constant phi, the golden ratio, through hands-on activities. They measure dimensions of "natural objects"—a star, a nautilus shell and human hand bones—and calculate ratios of the measured values, which are close to phi. Then students learn a basic definition of a mathematical sequence, specifically the Fibonacci sequence. By taking ratios of successive terms of the sequence, they find numbers close to phi. They solve a squares puzzle that creates an approximate Fibonacci spiral. Finally, the instructor demonstrates the rule of the Fibonacci sequence via a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robot equipped with a pen. The robot (already created as part of the companion activity, The Fibonacci Sequence & Robots) draws a Fibonacci spiral that is similar to the nautilus shape.

Subject:
Mathematics
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Nicole Abaid
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Don't Confuse Your Qs!
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Educational Use
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Students investigate the difference between qualitative and quantitative measurements and observations. By describing objects both qualitatively and quantitatively, they learn that both types of information are required for complete descriptions. Students discuss the characteristics of many objects, demonstrating how engineers use both qualitative and quantitative information in product design.

Subject:
Practitioner Support
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Megan Schroeder
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Efficiency of a Water Heating System
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Educational Use
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Students use a watt meter to measure energy input into a hot plate or hot pot used to heat water. The theoretical amount of energy required to raise the water by the measure temperature change is calculated and compared to the electrical energy input to calculate efficiency.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jan DeWaters
Susan Powers
Date Added:
09/18/2014