Math 2.0: A newbie tries his hand

Will it fill? Will it spill?

THe question[s]

Two questions: Will the salt fill the Tupperware? and How long will it take to empty the package?

Some useful information


This is how much was rattling in the bottom of the container at the end.


6 responses to “Math 2.0: A newbie tries his hand

  1. I love it. I am working on one myself that is in the same genre of filling stuff. I’ll let you know when it gets posted. Here are some of my thoughts on yours:

    I love that I’ll have to guess how full the salt container is originally. I’m assuming that it’s not filled to the top, so that’s a source of error.

    I also love how will I have to account for the spill-over while you filled the cube? I’m assuming it’s a cube.

    I also love thinking about whether it’s reasonable to model the rate flow out as constant or not. And why would it be or not be constant? Is it constant enough to get a good answer?

    How much error is in your timing? Should I trust you? Can we get a time stamp on the movie, so I can put the movie in slow-mo and check myself.

    You’ve got me hooked. How about hooking other people. Suggestion. You could start with a movie of you ABOUT to pour the salt into the tupperware. Then we ask the, “What are the questions?”

    Extension questions… what shape does the pour take? How does liquid pour different than grains?

  2. Callum Marshall

    Filling a container with salt, sorry but…is this kind of thing inspiring to students learning maths? Isn’t this all rather pointless – you filled a container with salt – well done!

  3. Callum: Isn’t this all rather pointless – you filled a container with salt – well done!

    Point well taken. Perhaps salt containers do not make the most compelling application of volume and rate. What might be some better ones?

    But just to be clear, the filling of the container would happen at the end of the lesson. Students would be asked to predict, calculate and then check their answers against reality.

    Extended consideration of Callum’s critique is coming as a new post in a few days.

  4. It’s a good critique, and I’m excited to see Chris’ response. But I think Callum (in his manner more than substance) seems to miss the “A newbie tries his hand” point. When Dan Meyer provides us with a polished video, he makes it look easy to come up with some compelling context, and to create some compelling video, one that perplexes and motivates, one that is approachable with intuitions and mathematics, one that unravels in layers of complexity, but not so complex that one can’t begin and make progress. He makes all of that seems easy.

    It’s not easy. Grab a camera, and try it. And then go and share it with the world.

    I think my point is that the critique should be aimed at, “How can we make this better?” not, “This is rather pointless”.

  5. Pingback: Salt, continued | Overthinking my teaching

  6. Pingback: Michael Phelps v. Morton Salt girl: The grudge match | Overthinking my teaching

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