Supersized Life: Comparing Across Scales

Supersized Life: Comparing Across Scales


DRIVING QUESTION: How wide is the scale of living beings that we encounter, even if we can’t see them?
LEARNING GOALS: To prepare and empower students to undertake a more formal study of exponents and logarithms by creating and solving math problems involving changes on a logarithmic base-ten scale. To give students an intuitive sense and appreciation of how large changes by orders of magnitude are.
STEM INTEGRATION: Science: Students will learn about animals and viruses that are usually too small and fragile to see and manipulate through 3D printed models of these organisms and information sheets. Technology: Students will learn about the 3D printing process and work with 3D printed models. 2 Mathematics: Students will spend much of their time using measuring tools and solving mathematical puzzles.
ASSESSMENT: Formative Assessment: A written pre-test will be administered at the beginning of Day 1. It consists of 3-4 word problems focusing on comparisons of two objects at different scales. For example: “Some scientists found out that water bears (1 mm long) can survive in space. An astronaut wants to take more water bears into space with her to do some research. He has a tube 10 mm long to carry all of his specimens. Approximately how many water bears could he fit inside the tube to take with him into space?” Only 5-10 minutes should be needed for the test. Summative Assessment: Questions and answer keys submitted during the final activity on Day 2 serve as an assessment both in terms of quantity (number of question-answer sets submitted) and quality (number of correct answer keys).

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