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
Hypothermia in the Little House by Lorraine Remer
Science in Children’s Literature: Among the cornerstones of science are careful observation and accurate description. Like scientists, authors must also be careful observers. Mrs. Wilder’s book presents a fine example in her depiction of the symptoms and treatment of hypothermia. Every time I read it I am more impressed with her scientific accuracy. It is worth starting early to develop skills at noticing what happens around you and at describing what you see. I have used this example with very young students as an introduction to preparing for outdoor winter activity. I read a few sentences or paragraphs, and then break the narrative to ask questions and begin discussion. By the time Laura and Carrie stumble back into the house, I am stopping at almost every sentence. I emphasize to my students that dressing correctly and eating properly will preserve health and enhance enjoyment of the outdoors. I can also envision using this example within a general unit on health and the human body, or even as an introduction to a writing assignment on observations. I leave it to the individual teachers to incorporate this example into their own curriculums at the appropriate level for their classes.
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We are always looking for neat examples of Practical Uses of Math And Science.