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September 2008, Volume 102, Issue 2

FEATURES

Diving In Head First: Finding the Volume of Norris Lake
Drew Foster
An activity that allows students to apply their knowledge and experience of area and volume to find the volume of Norris Lake. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in using maps and scales as well as to incorporate the use of technology in developing a mathematical model to find the solution.

Read how you can use this article as part of a Professional Development Experience.

Selecting and Using Mathemagic Tricks in the Classroom
Michael Matthews
How teachers can organize and use "mathemagic" tricks in their classroom to enhance conceptual understanding. Four mathemagic tricks are presented and analyzed.

Squaring Matrices: Connecting Mathematics and Science
Robert Horton, Elaine Wiegert, Jeff Marshall
An activity in which a matrix is used to represent a food chain and how the square of this matrix represents the indirect food sources for each animal in the chain. By exploring the implications when the bottom of the food chain is destroyed, students will see an important connection between mathematics and science.

The Evolution of the Cartesian Connection
Gail Anderson
This overview of the history of the Cartesian coordinate system helps the classroom teacher consider new ways to aid students in making the connection between algebraic and graphical representation of functions.

Spatial Reasoning and Pólya’s Five Planes Problem
Seán Madden, Ricardo Diaz
George Pólya's Five Planes Problem is used to illustrate the modern student's power of spatial reasoning. This, coupled with their access to technology, provides students with several avenues to solutions. Five different approaches are outlined. Includes an appendix with details for solving recurrence relations.