Math Projects

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  • Topic: Geometry, Non-Euclidean geometry, Parallel postulate
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1. Investigate the five "perfect" (or Platonic) solids and explain why there are only five. References: "The Mathematics Teacher", April '77, p. 335; I have directions for making the solids from strips of paper; NCTM Student Math Notes, May 1999.  

2. Research an invention based on unusual geometric properties or configurations (e.g. Rolamite Bearing, Wankel Engine, Holograms, etc.). References: "Popular Science", Feb. '76, p. 106; "Popular Science", Aug. '76, p. 84; "Scientific American", Aug. '72, p. 15; Edmund Scientific Catalog; Student Math Notes, March 1989, Consortium Fall 1995(#55), The Mathematics Teacher Jan 1998; "The Mathematics Teacher," January 1998, p. 12.  

3. Learn about the Escher variety of periodic drawings and learn how to analyze an Escher drawing to find the unit cell, etc. References: "The Mathematics Teacher", April '74,; "The Mathematics Teacher", Dec. '76, p. 647; I also have some materials for this.  

4. Investigate tiling the plane with similar figures, (i.e. tessellation). References: "Scientific American", July '75, p. 112; "Scientific American", Aug. '75, p. 112; Sachs, ed. Student Merit Awards, (Mr. Funsch) p. 108 ff.  

5. Analyze and describe the construction of an accurate sundial (gnomon). Reference: "The Mathematics Teacher", May '75, p. 438; Waugh, Sundials, Their Theory and Construction, '73, New York, Dover.  

6. Make and use a clinometer (sextant) to indirectly measure five lengths. Do this project only after having studied similar triangles. Reference: "The Mathematics Teacher", Feb. '76, p. 135.  

7. Investigate the field of topology. References: Life Science Library, Mathematics (ACS and Jeff Maxwell Library), pp. 176-191; Sharp, A New Mathematics Reader (JML), Chapter 11; "The Mathematics Teacher", Mar. '76, p. 215; "The Mathematics Teacher", Dec. '75, p. 647; Sachs, ed. Student Merit Awards (Mr. Funsch), p. 34 ff; NCTM, Enrichment Mathematics for High School (ACS); Francis, The Mathematician's Coloring Book, COMAP; Student Math Notes, Nov. 1990  

8. Research the application of mathematical principles in the world of art with a written description of those principles and their application. References: "The Mathematics Teacher", April '77, p. 298; also February '91, p 133; The Life Science Library, Mathematics (ACS), pp. 84-10, Consortium #46; "The Mathematics Teacher," January 1998, p. 24.  

9. Make a display and write a report on ancient number systems. References: "The Mathematics Teacher", May '75, p. 393; Life Science Library, Mathematics (ACS), Chapter 1; "The Mathematics Teacher", April '76, p. 296; Sachs, ed. Student Merit Awards (Mr. Funsch), p. 130. Chance, Rhind Mathematical Papyrus (ACS) 10. Investigate the connection between economics and math. References: "The Mathematics Teacher", Mar. '75, p. 189; "The Mathematics Teacher", Sept. '79, p. 450; "The Mathematics Teacher", Feb. '79, p. 134; Kastner, Applications of Secondary School Mathematics (ACS), pp 49ff.  

11. Investigate and report on financial institutions and simulate investing in the stock market. References: "The Mathematics Teacher", Sept. '77, p. 493; HiMAP module in Consortium Fall '95.  

12. Investigate and report on the careers of architect, civil engineer, and land surveyor. Reference: "The Mathematics Teacher", Sept. '77, p. 495.  
13. Research the role of geometric shapes and properties in architecture and construction. Reference: A fine example of this kind of display can be found in the Life Science Library, Mathematics (ACS), p. 94 ff.  

14. Calculate the average distance to a McDonald's. Consortium #34 (Summer, 1990) and #37 p. 9; Student Math Notes, March 1988.  
15. Archimedes, Reference: Sachs, ed. Student Merit Awards (Mr. Funsch).  
16. Pythagoras & His Theorem, Reference: Sachs, ed. Student Merit Awards (Mr. Funsch)  
17. Music and Mathematics,...
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