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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

Contouring and Topo Maps by Lorraine Remer
Twice during college I was taught to do hand contouring. One time in a meteorology class where the class was drawing isobars and isotherms on a weather map. One time in a geology class where we were drawing the topographical contours on an elevation map. I really enjoyed those exercises, but both times I remember thinking, “This is elementary school level.” Contouring teaches both estimation and spatial visualization skills. To have experience visualizing 3 dimensional fields from a 2 dimensional map helps students throughout their mathematical career. You can’t start too soon, and it is so easy!
(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!