Magazine article American Scientist

A Project to Inspire Student Interest in Science and Math

Magazine article American Scientist

A Project to Inspire Student Interest in Science and Math

Article excerpt

Sigma Xi member Allen Fuhs is retired from his job as a professor, but he still wants to teach. He has an idea to inspire students around the United States about science and math by putting a geometry-based activity on the back of cereal boxes.

"We can reach a million students, parents, and teachers," he said.

Fuhs brought his idea, and a generous donation, to Sigma Xi. The Society will use the donation to prepare a grant proposal to get the project off the ground.

"Sigma Xi is the organization that can make it happen," said Fuhs.

The idea is students would cut out a pattern from a cereal box to form a cube containing a special geometric shape known as an antiprism. Seeing the antiprism while researching stealth technology, Fuhs thinks this activity will capture the attention of students because it has concepts that may be new to them.

Teachers could bring the activity into classrooms with the help of online lesson plans. One lesson could be to find the third, hidden hexagon once the cube is made, and another could be to discuss the physics of mirror images. …

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