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Measure the bouncing ball

Marvin Ridge Middle School has always done well in math on standardized tests. Last year, over 95% of our students scored at or above grade level on end-of-year tests and Tamara Vasquez (7th grade) has proven that she knows math. Her work was recently featured in the Centroid, the official journal of the North Carolina Teachers of Mathematics. As a sixth grade student last year, Tamara was encouraged by her Math teacher, Ms. Carmen Harpham, to provide a solution for a math problem printed in the fall 2009 issue of the Centroid. The problem was a difficult one, “Julie has a super ball that will bounce back one-third from any height it is dropped. She dropped it from the top of her school (72 feet high) onto the concrete below. How far has the ball traveled when it hits the ground for the fourth time?” Seventeen students from Marvin Ridge were successful in answering the question correctly but Tamara’s explanation, which included an illustration, was printed in the journal. It takes logic and reasoning as well as good math skills to solve problems like these and Ms. Harpham said, "I am so proud of all my students when they show that they are able to apply what they learned in class."

Written by: Brita Mann
Posted: Oct 21, 2010 by Brita Mann

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