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
How Far Can You See? by Ralph Kahn
Problem: Fire towers are built so firefighters in forested regions can scan large areas for potential trouble. Upper-story and penthouse apartments rent for the highest prices because of the terrific views. Assuming the atmosphere is clear, and there are no hills or mountains obstructing the view, how far could you see to the horizon from the top of a 100 meter fire tower? From the top of a 55 story skyscraper, where each floor is 3 meters high? From the top of the tallest building in the world (the Petronis Tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1,467 ft. high)? From an airplane flying at 35,000 feet? From the Space Shuttle flying at 300 km?
(view this example)
We are always looking for neat examples of Practical Uses of Math And Science.