The World Science Festival is a week-long celebration of science and the arts in New York City. Now in its tenth year, the WSF has drawn over a million and a half visitors to its science-themed activities, which are designed for the public and hosted all over the city.

I will be participating in the WSF’s *Ultimate Science Sunday*, a day full of interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and games. I’ll be constructing a large aperiodic tiling with visitors, as well as sharing some cool 3D-printed mathematics.

The 2017 World Science Festival runs from May 30th to June 4th. You can see the entire *Ultimate Science Sunday* program here, and find out more about the World Science Festival here.

*Suppose a lawnmower is tethered to a circular peg in the middle of the lawn. As the lawnmower moves along its spiral path, the rope shortens as its winds around the peg. At the moment the lawnmower contacts the peg, how much rope remains uncoiled?*

When I first considered this problem it seemed hard. After some thought, it seemed obvious. Then, after some more thought, it seemed hard again. That’s the sign of a compelling problem!

I enjoyed working out a solution, the heart of which I’ve included below. Jason graciously included my solution in his post sharing his own, and he also does a wonderful job describing the journey of making simplifying assumptions, both mathematical and physical, that allow us to start moving toward a solution. It’s the kind of work that often goes unmentioned in problem solving, especially in school mathematics, and this puzzle provides a nice opportunity to make that thinking transparent.

I highly recommend reading the puzzle and his solution at his blog. Thanks for the fun problem, Jason!

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I put the recent snow day, and a snowball maker, to good use!

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The article,* Making Math with Scratch, *highlights a Math for America workshop I ran for teachers that centered on approaching mathematical concepts through the lens of coding and computer science. Several projects I use in my classroom are featured, and I also discuss why I like teaching with Scratch and how it’s become a valuable part of my approach to teaching math.

The purpose of the workshop and Patrick’s classroom activities are to demonstrate the power of bringing mathematics and computer science together. “Ultimately the goal is to show how math and computer science are great partners in problem solving. And Scratch provides a terrific platform for that.”

I’m excited to share the work I’ve been doing with math and Scratch over the past few years–including talks and workshops at conferences like Scratch@MIT, SIAM ED, and the upcoming NCTM Annual meeting–and I really appreciate this nice profile from Scratch Ed.

You can read the full article, *Making Math with Scratch, *at the Scratch Ed website.

What catches my attention in this photo, after the blue and white squares, is how the beams slowly bend away from center. I suppose knowing the size of those beams, and some trigonometry, would allow you estimate the location of the camera.

]]>The ceiling is a tiling of hexagons and equilateral triangles. But unlike a typical tiling of a flat bathroom floor, this tiling seems to create a curved surface! Here’s a closer look:

The underlying pattern is hexagonal, but when a hexagon is replaced with six small, hinged equilateral triangles, the surface gains the potential to curve.

It’s interesting to follow the “straight” line paths as they curve over the surface. And since this tiling is suspended from above, it’s interesting to think about what the surface would look like if it were lying on the ground. How “flat” would it be? Or a better question might be “How *far *from flat is it?”

Teachers are invited to design innovative, hands-on math and science projects that will engage and excite students outside of school, and then submit those projects through DonorsChoose.org. Eligible projects will receive matching funds from the Simons and Overdeck Foundations, and the top five entries will win an additional $5,000 in classroom funding.

Winners will be determined by a panel of judges led by astronaut and author Leland Melvin. I am proud to be one of the teachers on the panel, and I’m excited to see the cool projects submitted by classroom teachers from around the country!

You can read about the *Science Everywhere Innovation Challenge *here and find all the participation details at the Donors Choose website here.

We can also consider today a Transposition Day, as we need only a single transposition (an exchange of two numbers) to turn the year into the day and date.

Celebrate Permutation Day by mixing things up! Try doing things in a different order today. Just remember, for some operations, order definitely matters!

]]>The purpose of the webinar is to help interested teachers navigate the application process, which involves a lot of planning, recording, reflecting, and writing. As a PAEMST awardee, I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences applying for, and receiving, the award.

If you are applying for the PAEMST, or considering it, you can register for the free webinar by clicking here and searching for “Applicant Webinar”. I will be participating in the webinar on 2/15 at 2:00 pm, but NSF is running webinars throughout the nomination period, so there are many dates and times to choose from.

And if you know a deserving teacher, it’s not too late to nominate them for the Presidential Award! You have until April 1st, 2017.

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NCTM’s annual meeting brings together thousands of educators from across the country to discuss mathematics, pedagogy, technology, and more. It’s been many years since I attended an NCTM conference, so I’m looking forward to seeing what has changed in how the organization approaches math teaching, math teachers, and professional development.

I’ll be presenting *Making Math in Scratch*, a 60-minute session about my work integrating computer programming into math class using Scratch, the free, web-based, block-based programming environment designed by the MIT Media Lab. The talk is scheduled for Thursday, 4/6/17, at 9:30 am, so if you’re planning on attending the NCTM Annual, please pencil me in! And if you like, I’d be happy to give you a pre-conference homework assignment.

Conferences like this are great opportunities for professional growth, but the logistics are often complicated for classroom teachers. I’m fortunate to have received support from Math for America and the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award, which makes attending NCTM’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio possible.

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