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
Geometry to the Rescue: A Story in Pictures by Lin Chambers
Our kitchen floor was in need of something (repair, replacement, rejuvenation?). This being the do-it-yourself age, we took ourselves to the nearest big box home store, and picked out a lovely laminate flooring in a pattern that looks like tile. The ads and the instructions all make it sound like a pretty simple project. We brought it home and set to work. Immediately, we ran into a problem (Fig. 1). Our breakfast nook is in an octagonal shape. This means no matter which wall we started on, we immediately had to tackle an angle cut. Problem: How do you measure an included angle with a protector, when that angle is between two solid walls?
(view this example)
We are always looking for neat examples of Practical Uses of Math And Science.