Saturday, 30 August 2014

Viral Mathematics - The Ice Bucket Challenge

It is important for me as a teacher that I can relate mathematics to the current world, and to a certain extent, ensure my students don't see me as some out of touch weirdo.

This year's big craze, the Ice Bucket Challenge, allows us teachers to investigate how quickly a good idea can go viral, and more importantly, raise huge amounts of money in the process.

As we prepare students to go into the new world, wouldn't it be great for them to see the potential the internet has on creating incredible amounts of fundraising, whilst also doing some maths :)

There are already some great maths posts out there about this phenomenon, including When will I get nominated?  and  How long till the whole world is nominated?

This is more about an actual lesson based on the viral campaign. It gives us a good platform to discuss powers, and for me I will use it to reinforce power notation (particularly for the weaker students)

I have tried to plan this in a way that is accessible to most secondary Mathematics' students, with a real emphasis on extension.

It is also a creative lesson, as you finish by encouraging them to create their own idea of a viral fundraising campaign and you can have them model it themselves.

The extension comes with looking at the reality that on average maybe 1.2 people actually donate out of the three nominated, for a number of reasons (been picked before, cheapskate, on holiday at the time etc..)
My gold learners (more on that soon) would incorporate that in their lesson, whilst the others would just concentrate on working out how to type "3 to the power of 6" in their calculator.

It requires some tweaking i'm sure - and if there is any advice please pass it on.

Here is the powerpoint and the word document worksheet. Please note that if you can't show a video on youtube in school, you will need to swap the video for something else, maybe a still of a celebrity getting drenched.


N.B. I am yet to be nominated. :p

Mr. Hill

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