# Engineering in the K-12 Classroom: Math and Science Education for the 21st-Century Workforce

## CONTENTS OF CURRICULUM UNIT 12.04.05

## The Mathematics of a Warming Arctic

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## Learning Plan

The unit is broken down into three lessons. While it is possible to complete the three lessons on three successive 90-minute periods, it may be useful to space out the unit over the course of weeks or even several months. This is because of the geometric content with which students will be expected to be familiar. Specifically, students will be asked to understand both area and volume. Area is usually covered several weeks before volume is addressed, so it might behoove the teacher to use the part of the units involving area first and then, once volume has been covered to a suitable degree, to return to the unit and add on the missing volume piece.

This pacing style might have the benefit of making the unit more of an overarching theme in the class rather than just an intellectual excursion that, while possibly interesting for the few days in which it is being covered, will quickly be forgotten once the class moves on to new content. As this unit is intended to help foster in students a new perspective on the potency of mathematics to describe the world around them, this would not be the ideal outcome.

Additionally, it should be noted that the three lessons need not be done in strict sequence. Each one is almost entirely independent of the others, so the teacher should feel free to pick and choose what is most useful to him or her at the time. It is encouraged, however, that students are provided some background information before they begin work on the learning activities. This will allow them to contextualize the mathematical work they are being asked to do.