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For Science this year, both kids are doing a Survey of Science History & Concepts. It's a general science that Landon is doing as an elective, and that will be the first of Kennady's Science credits. Basically, it's an overview of Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, so it provides foundational knowledge in the concepts basic to each of these branches of science.
The first area of study is Exploring the World of Mathematics: From Ancient Record Keeping to the Latest Advances in Computers. So . . . it's the history . . . of mathematics . . . as a science. Confused yet? It's not as strange as it may sound at first. After all, numbers are all around us and we use them all the time, even when we're not really thinking about it. Advancement and different branches of mathematics have developed over the centuries as people used mathematical concepts to solve problems like:
- measuring time, weights, temperatures, and more
- using monetary systems
- showing scientific data
- predicting outcomes using permutations and probability
- communicating with and through computers
Landon has only a couple chapters of this book left, and Kennady is not far behind him. So far we've learned about the development of the calendar, and how the leap year came to be; how and why standards in weights and measures were established; that the US monetary system using base 10 was suggested by Thomas Jefferson; that the ancient Egyptians developed mathematics and geometry to design buildings, measure fields, plan watercourses, and calculate taxes; about the numbering systems of different cultures; how the Fibonacci numbers reflect a pattern in nature; why we refer to numbers as being rational or irrational; and that algebra was invented to make hard problems easier. That last one is something to wrap your brain around, isn't it?
Did you know:
- that the notion of 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour came from the astronomer Ptolemy over 2000 years ago?
- that the NASA Mars Climate Orbiter burned up in the Martian atmosphere because the flight engineers and the programming engineers had used different units of measure?
- that French scientists designed the metric system of measures in the late 1700s?
- that the Golden Ratio idea developed by the ancient Greeks has been used in art and architecture; that the dimensions of the ark built by Noah and the ark of the covenant are very close to the golden ratio; and that the golden ratio was even used to establish the size of modern driver licences, playing cards, and credit cards?
- that encryption of data is made possible by prime numbers?
What's in your high school lesson book? Leave a comment and let me know!
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