We took advantage of a warmer than normal Saturday to take a short day trip down historic Route 66. We started in Tulsa and ended up in Oklahoma City. As I was looking through the pictures I took that day, I couldn't help but see math in so many of the pictures.
My students often argue that math has no place in real life. I would beg to differ. Math is all around us if we take the time to notice.
The Route 66 Bridge in Tulsa got me to thinking. What type of function would best model this bridge? Is this a parabola? Or something else?
|Route 66 Bridge|
I can see using this as a geometry problem. What is the area of the wheel? What is the circumference of the wheel?
There was also an Oklahoma shaped flower bed. Wait. Can you call it a flower bed if it doesn't have flowers in it? Rock bed? Well, I'm not quite sure what to call this thing. But, my inquiring mind is curious about whether the is truly proportional to the state of Oklahoma. Does the stone that the plaque is resting on represent a county? Is it proportional? What about the star that represents Tulsa? Is it proportional?
|Oklahoma Flower Bed - Proportional?|
In Sapulpa, there is a display featuring a Frankhoma Pottery plate and a giant glass bottle. Frankhoma Pottery is very popular in this part of the country. This also screams proportions to me. How much does the large plate weigh? Could you figure it out by weighing a normal dinner plate? Were the plate and the bottle increased at the same scale?
|Sapulpa, OK Route 66 Display|
|Round Barn - Arcadia, OK|
The first floor of the Round Barn is a gift shop and museum. All around the room, there are these handmade posters. I took a picture of one of them. Even though the punchline is at the bottom of the paper, I didn't understand the joke. This was about 3 p.m. Around 10 p.m. that night, I was looking through all of the pictures I had taken. I read the joke again, and I finally understood it! It only took me 7 hours...
|Cemetery Joke Found In Round Barn|
|POPS - Arcadia, OK|
We offer an Oklahoma tourism class at my school, and they actually stopped at POPS on a field trip. Students from that class could give us information on how many bottles of each flavor of pop are typically on the shelves at POPS. Students could actually call the store with further questions. How many of each flavor do they typically stock?
Maybe one day I will get to the point in my teaching career that I don't feel so constricted by the curriculum I am supposed to be teaching. There are amazing math problems out there in the world, just waiting to be solved. Some day, I will make time for them.