Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Foxhole Radios

I am having a few regrets about a project that I started. It is a constant effort for me to try to find activities that students will find interest in, so they can apply some of the math skills we go over to real life scenarios and situations. I have come up with some great activities, and then of course some not so great activities. Recently, I launched a radio project where students were to apply their knowledge of sine and cosine waves to sound. One of the focuses I thought I would direct their attention to as an application was the sound we hear from radios. I thought it would be neat to have the students build fox hole radios, and then have them make a website about how amplitude, frequency, period, and key points of these sinusoids apply to radios. Here is my radio project guide:
The problem with this project is the students are more interested in getting their radios to work. I keep having to remind them that the radio is not the biggest portion of the task. The creation of an informative website about sinusoids- how to graph them and the applications of them- is the major part of the project... It has been a learning experience. I am just still not sure if what they are learning is what I want them to learn.  I want ask out, and see if anyone will help with what is going wrong with our radios. No one, including myself have gotten the radio to work yet.

Here is a picture:

Can anyone tell me what is wrong? The left blue cable is the connection to the antenna which is out the window and hanging over our school building. The other is plugged into the wall to be grounded.

The following links are to my students' websites in progress:


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  2. Hi, Ms. Baker,

    I came across your blog via David Wees, and as a fellow mathematics educator I thought you might be able to help in spreading the word about an educational TV show for preteens about math that we're putting together. "The Number Hunter" is a cross between Bill Nye The Science Guy and The Crocodile Hunter -- bringing math to children in an innovative, adventurous way. I’d really appreciate your help in getting the word out about the project.


    I studied math education at Jacksonville University and the University of Florida. It became clear to me during my studies why we’re failing at teaching kids math. We're teaching it all wrong! Bill Nye taught kids that science is FUN. He showed them the EXPLOSIONS first and then the kids went to school to learn WHY things exploded. Kids learn about dinosaurs and amoeba and weird ocean life to make them go “wow”. But what about math? You probably remember the dreaded worksheets. Ugh.

    I’m sure you know math is much more exciting than people think. Fractal Geometry was used to create “Star Wars” backdrops, binary code was invented in Africa, The Great Pyramids and The Mona Lisa, wouldn’t exist without geometry.
    Our concept is to create an exciting, web-based TV show that’s both fun and educational.

    If you could consider posting about the project on your blog, I’d very much appreciate it. Also, if you'd be interested in link exchanging (either on The Number Hunter site, which is in development, or on StatisticsHowTo.com which is a well-established site with 300,000 page views a month) please shoot me an email. We're also always looking for input and ideas from other math educators!

    Thanks in advance for your help,


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