A Two Dimensional Perspective in a Modern World

Dimension, in physics, is an expression of the character of a derived quantity in relation to fundamental quantities, without regard for its numerical value. In any system of measurement, such as the metric system, certain quantities are considered fundamental, and all others are derived from them. CLINK! The noise of the golf club hitting the ball reaches your ears, and at the sight of seeing the ball soar through the sky you notice that this is a prime example of two dimensional motion. The motion of an object that is shot, thrown, or in some other way launched into the air, such as a golf ball being hit into the air, is two dimensional because it will contain both x and y components. The ball’s trajectory is called the parabola. In the y direction, the ball is thrown upward with an initial velocity of Vy2, and the X direction is the ball being thrown forward with an initial velocity of Vx2.

Another good example of a 2 dimensional is firing a gun. When a bullet is shot out into the open, it will eventually hit the ground if there is no obstacles to stop it. This is because out the force of gravity being applied downward to the bullet. This is a very good example of 2-dimensional motion because it has a y and x component to it just like any other motion that consists of firing, throwing, or dismissal of an object into the air. Throw a ball at an angle up off a building. It is now a projectile, which is an object that is propelled by another force and continues to travel because of its own inertia. Watch at first as it travels at the angle that you threw it. When the ball’s velocity reaches zero, (which is its highest point), it begins to travel down to the ground while moving horizontally because its force is constant. This is an example of Projectile Motion. Projectile Motion is a nonlinear motion in which matter travels on a curved path or motion under the influence of gravity.

In the late 1500s a famous physicist, Galileo Galilei, was the first to accurately describe projectile motion and showed how the motion had separate components such as constant horizontal motion and the object would continue to accelerate downward because of gravity. Inertia is a large part of projectile motion because it explains precisely why an object continues to be in motion even after a force has stopped being exerted on it.

Pollution in the Modern World Leads to Modern Problems

In this modern world as scientists produce new technology for the welfare of mankind it only results in new luxuries being produced. This attitude by people towards the environment is changing because they want more and more luxuries and they are destroying the environment for this reason.

They use instruments like fridges, air conditioners etc that release C.F.C’s in the environment which in turn deplete the Ozone layer but these gadgets not used before the 19th century, according to recent researches the depletion of ozone has increased by about 50% in the 20th century. The uncontrolled deforestation to built buildings for their own accommodation is increasing the oxygen content in the atmosphere, which is leading to global warming. The increasing riots also increase pollution as many cars are set on fire during the riots. This increases the temperature of that place as well as the global temperature; wars are also producing much type of pollutions like air, water, land, noise and radiation. The testing of missiles produce toxic radioactive gases like Radon, Xenon, So2 ,Co etc.

The increasing use of plastic bags leads to the pollution of the land and the sea. These plastic when buried in the earth do not decompose and convert that land into bad land not suitable for agriculture; throwing these plastic bags into the sea kills the fish. The use of loud speakers at late night parties, marriages Noise come from all over the place. Noise from road traffic, jet planes, jet skies, garbage trucks, construction equipment, manufacturing processes, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and boom boxes, to name a few, are among the audible litter that are routinely broadcasted in the air or from road traffic, jet planes, jet skies, garbage trucks, construction equipment, manufacturing processes, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and boom boxes lead to increase in sound pollution which have many harmful effects like disturbance in sleep, deafness etc.

At the end I would like to say that if this trend of modernization continues we will ultimately change the earth into a place, which will be full of pollution and unsuitable for flora and fauna.

The Role of Child Care Centres in the Modern World

The importance of early childhood education in today’s world is crucial. With so much gang violence, limited child care centres, latch key kids, and even divorce playing a factor, is there any hope at all that the future of our world will change for the better?

It always has been said education starts at home. Children learn by example in child care centres. Many of today’s parents have poor literacy and math skills without completing high school and simply do not have the skills to educate and teach their children.

It can be up to child care centers to step in and make sure that early childhood education is covered. When a child is dropped off at daycare centre, it is not supposed to be just a babysitting service it is a place where children can learn and grow through an array of experiences that help them develop mentally and emotionally.

Things for parents to think about:

Focus on each child’s needs. What are their special gifts? Does one love to read and show a hunger to learn more? What if one child is lagging behind? Who in the child care centre is giving that extra attention to show the child how to catch up?

If the child is actually enrolled in a child care centre, the parents need to do their homework. There are paid preschools versus public preschools. But, money doesn’t always buy an education. Parents need to do background checks, ask questions with the teachers and staff. See how your child relates with the teachers. When you walk into the preschool unannounced, is it quiet or are kids screaming out of control? Make sure there are not too many children to teach with one teacher being overloaded. This is quite common in a preschool.

It is important for parents to stop and discuss with their child what they learnt that day and keep the learning going at home. A child can always teach a parent something they never knew before.

A child care centre is a real home away from home. Sometimes the children spend more time there than at home. So, preschools and child care centres need to focus on a new generation that will be taking over this world in the next twenty years. They are the ones that will help shape the future of many countries, not just the parents. The parents and the schools must start working together. With caring, love, and kindness, education can be a beautiful thing learned that will last a lifetime.

The World Doesn’t Need Another Math Textbook

I know this statement is shocking. Some of you may feel that I have announced the end of the civilization as we know it. How in the world will people learn math without the latest and greatest math textbook. The answer is simple. The same way people have always learned math prior to the modern education system, by doing math as they go about their everyday lives. You may ask “Is that possible?” “Would it work?” I believe so. It’s the reason I made this statement when I was asked if my new book, “Math is Child’s Play” was going to be a Math Textbook. But in all fairness, let’s look at both sides, school math versus everyday math.

First let’s look at school math. I have been studying of late the topic of Math Anxiety. Increasing number of people profess to hate math, to be ‘no good at math,’ to be anxious about doing basic math. These same people were taught math in our public schools. When did this situation of math anxiety start? Who knows for sure? But what’s significant is that it’s increasing, not decreasing. It’s increasing despite the modern education system, despite New Math and the latest teaching methods, despite all the money and energy that has been put towards the problem. Just for the record, I found a book “Mathematics; A Human Endeavor” by Harold R. Jacobs copyrighted in 1970 which in its preface the author mentions the failure of New Math in the schools. A book from 1964, titled “Mathematics for Elementary Teachers” by Ralph Crouch and George Baldwin which was written to teach math to elementary teacher who found themselves expected to teach math although they had no training in math.

Marilyn Burns, a well known math expert, has been addresses math anxiety since 1970 with her first book, “I Hate Mathematics” right through to her more current book, “Math; Facing an American Phobia” 1998. The latter book speaks to math anxiety as a growing phenomenon. And more recently “Math for the Anxious” by Rosanne Proga, copyrighted 2005 also is very clear about math anxiety and its causes. Of course, all this math anxiety is good; at least it is for the math textbook industry. Math anxiety sells math textbooks. Parents are concerned that their children learn math better than they did. Teachers are calling for a better way to teach math. This is great news for the math textbook companies. For you and me, this is bad news.

So let’s look at the other side. Is it possible for people to learn math in everyday life; running their business or household, doing projects, etc.? Is this possible? I believe it is and it is already happening without anyone being aware of it. My daughter professed to hate math, yet she is doing math everyday on Neopets. When I asked her about it, she said that it wasn’t real math. So what kind of math was it? I think she meant that it wasn’t ‘school math.’ I met an airline pilot who went into great details about the calculations she did in her head in order to fly the plane. Later she professed that she hated math in school. She wasn’t ‘good at it.’ She wasn’t even capable of balancing her own checkbook. When I pointed out that the calculation she did to fly the plane was math, she was adamant that it wasn’t because she wasn’t any good at math in school. She said “It’s just a formula that I plug numbers into.” Marilyn Burn relates a similar story about an interior decorator who could price out the cost for a complete room, but also felt that she wasn’t any good at math. These are people who couldn’t do ‘school math’ but are doing the math that their everyday lives demand of them. They probably learned this math on the job; hence they don’t relate it to school math.

Math is best learned in the real world, with real life situations. It may start with counting out the cookies your mother gives you. Later you start comparing the number you got with the number your brother got. You quickly learn to calculate the he got ‘how many’ more than you did, so that your complaint can be accurate. Next, you are watching Mom slice up the pie or cake. You quickly calculate how many pieces each person can have, that is until Mom steps in and tells you how many you can really have. Then you calculate how many you can have tomorrow with all those guests gone. This is a simple real life scenario, but how many math concepts did I cover here. These skills grow with your children. How many of you have watched your older children go through their Halloween candy. My child sorts and counts to evaluate how she did. Halloween is also a great time for teaching about taxes. Parents need to take their share of the sweet earnings, and not just of the candy the child doesn’t like. Remember, Uncle Sam takes his cut off the top before you ever see a dime.

Playing is a great way to learn math. I like miniature golf and billiards for learning about angles and force. Of course this may sound like Physics, Newton’s Law of Relativity. And it is, but there is also no better way to learn geometry and algebra than with a practical application. What could be more practical than learning as you play? Wow, here’s another real life example for learning math. I like playing games. You name it; board games, card games, strategy games. If it challenges me and tests my intellect and problem solving capabilities, I like it. Games like Nim, checkers, chess, mancala, Stratego, Battleship, Risk, etc. help develop logic sequences and strategy. Games like Uno, Skip-bo, Set, Rummikub helps children develop their ability to see patterns. Games like cribbage, gin rummy, Scrabble actually help children practice addition and multiplication.

But enough with the games, let’s talk some serious stuff. If you want to learn math, do a project like decorating a room. Do the whole works from calculating the paint or wallpaper, to calculating the material and sewing the drapes, to ordering and positioning the furniture. Design a new cabinet layout for your kitchen, including calculating cabinet dimensions, appliance positioning and project costs. Try building something like a drop desk or a play ground swing set, or a go-cart. How about doing a baking or sewing/quilting project? Do all the preparations for a dinner party, including the planning, shopping, seating arrangement, cooking, etc. Try paper trading some stock and track them for a year. Start an eBay business. Wow! Wouldn’t that be something, having your child’s math project turn into a home-based business that pays for your child’s college education? It’s possible and it’s real life.

When it comes to learning math, everyday life has plenty of opportunities and the learning is natural, not forced. On the other hand, the math anxiety problem is rooted in our modern education system. The problem lies with having non-math experts teaching math as if they were experts. The problem lies with having math textbooks that present math in an artificial and rigid manner. As much as I liked Marilyn Burns book, “Math; Facing an American Phobia,” I think she missed the correct conclusion of the situation. Ms. Burns is still trying to ‘fix’ the system. It is obvious to me that it is time to throw the system out and go back to learning math in everyday life. Hence I stand by my statement “The Last Thing the World Needs Is Another Math Textbook.”