PUMAS (poo' • mas) -- is a collection of brief examples showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes can be used in interesting settings, including every day life.
The examples are written primarily by scientists, engineers, and other content experts having practical experience with the material. They are aimed mainly at classroom teachers, and are available to all interested parties via the PUMAS web site.
Our goal is to capture, for the benefit of pre-college education, the flavor of the vast experience that working scientists have with interesting and practical uses of math and science.
- Ralph Kahn
Pumas Editor and Founder
The Shadow of the Dog by Ralph Kahn
The dogs I know like to be walked at least twice a day -- once in the morning, and once in the evening. But even though I'm the same person and it's the same dog in the morning and evening, our shadows change... In the morning, our shadows point in one direction. This is true regardless of which way we are facing. The shadows of trees, buildings, cars, fire hydrants, and blades of grass all point in the same direction as ours. In the evening, our shadows all point in approximately the opposite direction. And if we happen to take our walk closer to sunset, our shadows are longer than if we go out in mid-afternoon. What makes shadows act this way?
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We are always looking for neat examples of Practical Uses of Math And Science.