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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

Featured PUMAS Example

Color and Spectrum by Stephen J. Edberg
Human beings’ color vision allows us to distinguish both large and subtle differences between objects of similar color. Consider a forest, with its multitude of greens. But objects with similar colors are not necessarily the same, as the jade and seaweed found on some Pacific coast beaches illustrate. Researchers, chemists, criminalists, and many other investigators study and compare objects and learn about their compositions by breaking the light down into its composite colors, a technique called spectroscopy (pronounced spek-TRAH-skah-pee). Most people are familiar with a natural presentation of the spectrum (plural: spectra) of the Sun: we call it a rainbow.
(view this example)

View the Examples

There are currently 84 examples in the PUMAS Collection.
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We are always looking for neat examples of Practical Uses of Math And Science.
Please contribute!