Maths - Resource of the week

20th January 2012 at 00:00

Red-hot algebra skills

The oft-heard question "Why do we need this?" haunts maths classrooms. But amanda goddard's algebra for cooking resource is an inspiring investigation that illustrates the day-to-day application of the word many students dread: algebra.

What is it?

A PowerPoint with clearly explained learning objectives encouraging pupils to be sceptical about "cooking time" instructions on packages - the religious followers of which often find themselves disappointed by beef beyond browned or cold chicken centres.

Using the formula T = cooking time in minutes and P = weight of meat in pounds, pupils investigate what length of time different pieces of meat would take to cook. The PowerPoint then continues with questions for converting fahrenheit to celsius and to assess learning.

How can it be used?

Try it as an in-class activity, developing pupils' investigative skills. Or, as the starter image in the PowerPoint suggests, take the activity out of the classroom and into the kitchen, perhaps using small quantities of meat and stopping the class at certain points to inject some more maths equations. This way, pupils can see the real-life result of their workings.

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