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
Ice Sheets and Sea Level Rise by Claire L. Parkinson
The ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contain massive amounts of frozen water (i.e., ice) that, if broken off or melted, for instance from extended global warming or from outward ice flow, would go largely into the oceans. In view of the vast size of the oceans, covering over 70% of the Earth’s surface area, many people might at first think that the addition of ice or melted ice from the ice sheets would have little impact on global sea level. The numbers prove otherwise, however, and doing the calculations helps to instill this fact as well as recognition of the vast size of the Earth’s two major ice sheets. The Antarctic ice sheet, for instance, has an area far exceeding the area of the United States, and over sizable regions its ice extends to a depth of greater than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers).
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We are always looking for neat examples of Practical Uses of Math And Science.