Can one ever truly know the value of rounded numbers, teamwork and the preciseness of mathematics? We put our understanding to the test today and challenged ourselves tremendously.
We recently stumbled upon the Roam the Runway at YYC and discovered through their tweets over the last several months they have been teasing data tidbits about the runway as it is being built. Massive numbers and some really great tweets about some of the concepts we have been journeying through lately. Using this picture tweet, the challenge to the grade six class was to discover what size of coffee cup from Tim Horton’s was used in their calculation.
Some students broke into groups, while some began tackling the problem themselves or in pairs. The kids were hooked, they dove in and began hacking their way through the information they had. We got comfortable with our inner mathematical ninjas and we got to work. Questions began to arise seeking clarification. We knew that the total amount of gravel was 500 000m³, but how much could each cup hold? How much liquid could a cubic meter hold? The problem spun out from that. What we did not account for was the preciseness of #YYCRunway!
The answer eluded us. We could get close, but never quite close enough to claim victory. We sweated and stewed as a group. We gnashed our teeth and came at this problem from every angle we could. It turns out that Google was both our downfall and our saviour. We looked up how many millilitres were in one fluid ounce. We could have used Google to tell us how many mls were in 24 ounces, but we had the skills and the scent of victory was almost upon us. Turns out that Google rounded where we did not. In the end, amid much cheering, we figured out the answer. An excellent adventure that demonstrated the beauty of the journey we are on together, roadblocks and all.
Sarah Simmons (@sesimmons01) currently teaches Grade Six at Olympic Heights School. She is passionate about being a mom, wife, teacher and DIY’er in any matter of things.