For those of you in the east coast, particularly from Virginia up through New York, you probably are still digging out from the crazy blizzard that was Jonas. I had about 30 inches at my house, which was wild. My poor dog took one look and refused to go out – considering the snow is higher than him, you can’t blame him! I had to dig a tunnel in the back yard, which was no easy task.
Naturally, during the storm there was a lot of news-watching to see what the snow accumulation predictions would be. Also, on Facebook, there were a lot of people posting time-lapsed videos of the snow accumulation from various parts of the country. My favorite one is posted below – it was posted by Ed Piotrowski of WPDE and shows 40 seconds of snow accumulation of 40″ taken over 27 hours with pictures shot every 2 minutes from a guy named Wayne Bennett’s camera. Here is the clip:
Of course my first thoughts – wouldn’t this make a great math investigation for students. How much snow is falling each minute? How does it change over time? There are a lot of these time-lapse videos out there, some with actual rulers, where students could actually collect numerical data. And, now that the storm is over, how long is it going to take for this much snow to melt? Have students look at weather temperatures over the next few days and try to determine melting rates and how long this much snow will take to get rid of. How does rain (predicted in my area tomorrow) impact this? If the snow were rain, how much water is that? There are a lot of interesting questions and predictions that could be made. Heck – just calculating how many frames were needed to capture the time-lapse would be an interesting math problem.
As I continue to dig out from the storm, I just wanted to share my mathematical thoughts. It’s pretty simple to find real-world math and that sure does make learning math a lot more fun.d