Current Event March 9, 2017
During the space race between the United States and Russia, many of the NASA mathematicians who made space flight possible were women. Moreover, many of these important scientists were black women, which is significant, because segregation was still in full effect. Although white male engineers and astronauts have been the most highlighted in history, people are now celebrating the essential contributions of these female, African-American scientists, including the movie “Hidden Figures.” Listen to learn more about the black female scientists like Katherine Johnson and their important contributions to space travel.
Current Event December 16, 2015
In San Quentin prison, inmates can learn about money management and investing while behind bars. The teacher of the class is serving a life sentence and has earned the nickname, “Wall Street.” He learned to read as well as to trade stocks while he was in prison. There are several business school and financial experts that volunteer with the class. Many of the inmates will need financial management skills as they re-enter the outside world. Listen to hear about this program that helps inmates be more successful when they are released.
Current Event September 16, 2015
There is a phenomenon that drives everything from the stock market to orange juice prices. By taking the average of all guesses about something, you can collectively get the right answer. This was put to the test at a county fair using a cow named Penelope. People guessed the weight of a cow and the average of over 17,000 guesses was within 5 percent of Penelope’s actual weight. This story about the wisdom of crowds will help you explain how the stock market works.
Current Event July 31, 2014
Many people make decisions based on the probability of a specific outcome. Every day, doctors have to decide to base their health care decisions on probability. Listen to this public radio story about how a man's health care choice went against probability.
Science Middle School
You are losing weight, just by breathing! This public radio story describes how people lose weight when sleeping, and that much of that lost weight comes simply from breathing. You will learn how matter is recycled and how everyone contains atoms from historical figures. The story also helps you visualize just how small and numerous atoms and molecules are.
Current Event July 25, 2014
The United States is one of only a handful of countries that doesn't use the metric system. Most of the world calculates distances in meters. The creation of the meter in 1792 was based on the need to agree on a uniform system of measurement. But the first time scientists tried to determine the length of a meter, they made some mistakes. Listen to this public radio story to learn why accuracy is necessary.
Current Event January 30, 2014
This year's Super Bowl will be held at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium—but many mistakenly believe it will be held in New York. This could have tremendous economic impact on New Jersey since business will flow to Manhattan rather than stay in New Jersey. Listen to this story to hear what the mayor of the host city has to say.
Current Event January 3, 2014
There are over 7 billion people on Earth today, double the population 45 years ago. A famous bet was made between an economist and biologist to determine if a world at risk of overpopulation will adapt and survive. Listen to this story with students to learn the results.
Current Event November 27, 2013
In life and in math class we use the numerals 0 through 9 every day. They are the basis of our financial system and shape the way we understand value. We have a young Italian mathematician named Leonardo da Pisa, nicknamed Fibonacci, to thank for this. In 1202 he published a book called “Book of Calculation” that introduced these numerals to Europe, replacing Roman numerals and the abacus once and for all. Listen to learn more about the man and concept behind Fibonacci and his numbers.
Current Event October 31, 2013
In the last 30 years the rich have become richer. Lower-income earners gained 18%, the middle class earned 40%, and the top 1% of wage earners gained 275%. What's a good way to illustrate to students how the gap as widened? Candy Corn! Listen to this story to hear an audio graph of the income gap. Then discuss with students what it means for an economy and society with a large income gap and possible alternatives to redistribute wealth more evenly.