Author Archives: Celeste Beley

Happy Pythagorean Theorem Day!

pythagoras-sketchDid you forget to get a card?  We don’t know if the card store will have something for today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate!

Pythagorean Theorem Day or Pythagoras Theorem Day is celebrated when the sum of the squares of the first two digits in a date equals the square of the last digit in the date. In this case: August 15, 2017 (8/15/17 or 15/8/17): 8² + 15² = 17². The next instance of this special day won’t happen until December 16th, 2020…so don’t miss your chance to celebrate today!

So let’s refresh…what is the Pythagorean Theorem?

From Wikipediareal-life-applications-pythagorean-theorem_672e4a5e3a2f7d7 In mathematics, the Pythagorean theorem, also known as Pythagoras’s theorem, is a fundamental relation in Euclidean geometry among the three sides of a right triangle. It states that the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. The theorem can be written as an equation relating the lengths of the sides a, b and c, often called the “Pythagorean equation”:  a2+b2=cwhere c represents the length of the hypotenuse and a and b the lengths of the triangle’s other two sides.

Although it is often argued that knowledge of the theorem predates him, the theorem is named after the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras (c. 570–495 BC) as it is he who, by tradition, is credited with its first recorded proof. There is some evidence that Babylonian mathematicians understood the formula, although little of it indicates an application within a mathematical framework. Mesopotamian, Indian and Chinese mathematicians all discovered the theorem independently and, in some cases, provided proofs for special cases.

The theorem has been given numerous proofs – possibly the most for any mathematical theorem. They are very diverse, including both geometric proofs and algebraic proofs, with some dating back thousands of years. The theorem can be generalized in various ways, including higher-dimensional spaces, to spaces that are not Euclidean, to objects that are not right triangles, and indeed, to objects that are not triangles at all, but n-dimensional solids. The Pythagorean theorem has attracted interest outside mathematics as a symbol of mathematical abstruseness, mystique, or intellectual power; popular references in literature, plays, musicals, songs, stamps and cartoons abound.

So how to celebrate?  Try these ideas:

  • earn more about the Pythagoras Theorem and its real life applications.
  • Celebrate the day by eating foods that are cut in right angle triangles. Make a pizza or bake a cake or cookies in the shape of a right triangle. Or just your PB&J will work too!
  • Since the holiday depends on a unique date pattern, why not spend the day learning about other special date patterns- sequential, repetitive, or palindrome for example?

Making the Invisible, Visible..with iPads

This is a guest post from Maggie Keeler (@KeelerMS). Shared with the permission of our friends at Swift Optical.

Microscope work in science class is often a solitary endeavor. Traditionally, one student searches to find a seemingly invisible organism while patiently waiting for the teacher to come confirm that they’ve found it. Not anymore! With the MotiConnect App from Motic, this isolated experience becomes collaborative. MotiConnect allows you to connect up to six iPads wirelessly to a Moticam X camera or digital microscope with Moticam software. Each student is then able to capture images, record videos, annotate, and measure images from the microscope.

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The History of the Microscope

hookeFour hundred years ago, the world of the microscope was unexplored. That means the structure of things like plants and the tissues of animals were a mystery, and there were thousands of other plants and animals that we didn’t even know existed! The causes of the diseases could only be hypothesized about and medical science was limited. Antonie van Leeuwenhook’s invention of the microscope in the 17th century brought about a revolution in scientific knowledge.

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sn-spiders_4Spiders are often perceived as fearless and terrifying creatures able to hold their own against any predators. But when it comes to the Reclinervellus nielseni wasp — which lives in Australia and Japan — the spider is no match. This species of wasp has the gruesome ability to turn the Cyclosa argenteoalba species of spiders into arachnid zombies that they feast on until their usefulness runs out.


What Would Mendeleev Say About Synthetic Elements?

Dmitri Mendeleev was an excellent teacher and searched mendeleev statuefor ways to make chemistry easier for his students. He began arranging the chemical elements in groups with similar characteristics which developed into today’s periodic chart of the elements. Mendeleev’s original chart included 63 elements; today we know 118. Though puzzled by the gaps in his first table, Mendeleev was confident the table was right and the missing elements to fit in the gaps would show up … sometime.

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Is Climate Change Spreading Infectious Diseases?

Buruli ulcer is not an affliction disease strainyou would like anyone to contract. Caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, it produces a toxin which necrotizes tissue and hampers immune response. Up to 6000 cases are reported annually to the World Health Organization from 15 countries. Though 80 percent of cases can be cured by antibiotics if caught early, late reporting is typical, leading to a high proportion of permanent disability.

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Earthquake Detection, There’s an App for That!

earthquakeSmartphones have revolutionized the way we work, play, communicate and carry out our day to day lives. Recently, researchers discovered a surprising and potentially life-saving application for this technology: early earthquake detection. This unconventional pocket detector could provide precious seconds for people to take shelter or for utilities to implement emergency shutdown procedures.

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Burrowing Animals May Have Stabilized Earth’s Oxygen

The presence of oxygeburrowingn in the Earth’s atmosphere is a critical component to life as we know it. But how did our atmosphere come into existence? What events created the oxygen rich air that we breathe? Scientists think that the answer lies in the lowliest of creatures; creatures that we don’t even notice unless we pull back the muck and ‘dig deep’.

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What Does Your “Selfie” Say About You?

The Millennials are often called the “Selfie-generation.” They pride themselves on usingselfie those selfies to create their personal online brand — defining who they are, what they like and what they stand for. But even if you aren’t a Millennial, it’s likely that you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram and you’ve probably taken at least a few selfies. While some credit the selfie as pure narcissism, others consider them a form of self-expression and a way to control how others perceive us online. But what do those selfies really say about you? How do others perceive you based on your social media photos?

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