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PBS Teachers

Multimedia resources & professional development for America's preK-12 educators.

Mathline

Mathematics and Nature

Constant or Linear Plant Growth  |  Continuously Changing Growth  |  Surface Area of a Leaf  |  Career Connections  |  More Math Concepts

maple leafAs summer approaches and you spend more time outdoors, think about how math relates to the nature around you. Did you know that math can be related to plant growth? This month's theme is mathematics in nature.

One application of mathematics is to model the world around us. In Activity I: Constant or Linear Plant Growth (Grades 3-6), students will use tables, charts and graphs as tools to model and predict a constant/linear plant growth.

In Activity 2: Continuously Changing Growth (Grades 10-12), students will use tables, charts and graphs as tools to formulate an equation that will model an exponentially increasing plant growth. Students will need to have knowledge of natural logarithms and the laws of exponents to solve for the equation.

In Activity 3: Surface Area of a Leaf (Grades 7-9), students will use tables and charts to calculate the surface area of a leaf. Students will need to have some knowledge in geometry in order to manipulate the shape of the leaf, changing it into a geometric figure that is familiar to the students.