Space Math practice for high schoolers

Here is a link to a real-world lesson in asteroid-related math developed by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories to get students thinking like NASA scientists. The example comes from the recent small asteroid that entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia. Called “Math Rocks: A Lesson in Asteroid Dynamics,” this lesson involves algebra, geometry, trigonometry, asteroids, and comets, and is geared for grades 9-12.You can find more problems like this from Space Math @ NASA. You might also check out NASA Space Mathematics, A Space Educator’s Handbook. The handbook divides problems into chapters of Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, and more. Solutions are provided and explained.If you want to go into astronomy but are concerned about the math, here are some encouraging words from an astronomy software technologist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.For girls who want more help with algebra, Danica McKellar has some fun books out that will help explain algebra problems. I wish the book had been out when I was in junior high and high school–I always wished the teacher would go into how these problems were useful, but I was usually disappointed. Danica’s books, like Hot X: Algebra Exposed, help fill those gaps. I don’t want to leave out boys here, but the book I checked out was definitely girly. Danica McKellar is an actress and a mathematician. As an actress, she was on The Wonder Years and The West Wing. Her first math book was titled Math Doesn’t Suck and another one is Kiss My Math. Lessons are presented in the style of a teen magazine.Enjoy

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