PUMAS logo

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

Metric Wins! by Joseph B. Reid
There have been many metric systems, or systems of measurement. On 7 April 1795 the National Convention of France decreed new “Republican Measures” to be legal measures in France. The units of measurement included the meter, liter, and gram; the prefixes centi, deci, deca, hecto, and kilo were also sanctioned. This was the decimal system of measurement or the decimal metric system. It has survived practically unchanged and now is known simply as the metric system. The latest version of the system is the International System of Units or SI for short. It is used by 95% of the world’s population “À TOUS LES TEMPS; À TOUS LES PEUPLES” (“FOR ALL TIME; FOR ALL PEOPLES”) The decimal nature of the Metric System makes conversions among units much easier. Try the following examples to see why.
(view this example)

View the Examples

There are currently 84 examples in the PUMAS Collection.
nav arrowView the full listing, organized by Example title.

We are always looking for neat examples of Practical Uses of Math And Science.
Please contribute!