Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Math, Computers and a Spirit of Competition

Kids love to win. Well we all love to win. Analyzing the competition for many activities can be an excellent lesson in both math and computers.

For my kids, the competition was running. My daughter had a taste of victory and wanted more.

My son wanted victory too. So they both began training for a race. Each had very different methods of data tracking in preparation.

My son created a book to log his training. He used an iPod Mini and a run mapping program to track his time and distance which he recorded in his book.

The calculations were to predict how fast he could run 7 km, based on his time for running 4.44 km. He compared his projected time with races results of participants from the previous year. The funny thing is that he hasn't done this yet in math, but intuitively knows how.

My daughter downloaded race results from prior years to a spreadsheet, which she sorted by age, gender and time. She passed some information onto her brother and used the data to determine how fast she would need to run to receive a trophy, and how fast I would need to run to receive a trophy. Unfortunately, since she began her analysis, I have caught pneumonia and will not be able to compete in this particular race. I hope the kids achieve their goals, but either way, am tickled to see that running has inspired them to do a little math.

Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas.

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