Category Archives: Math Minute

# 94: Pixel Power

Image result for pixels are.

Pixels are the smallest unit in a digital display. Up to millions of pixels make up an image or video on a device’s screen. Each pixel comprises a subpixel that emits a red, green and blue (RGB) color, which displays at different intensities. In this mini spark, you will learn about the basics of pixels and pixel colors.  

Spark your math thinking!

Step 1:  Start by taking out your math notebook or opening your math mini spark doc.  Put the date at the top and put the title of this mini spark. Record all of your work on this page.

Step 2. Use this slideshow of images, which zooms a picture of raft. The final slide shows that the entire photo is actually made from individual squares of color. How does looking at these pictures help explain creation of the digital images that you see? What other images might you see today that are made from pixels?
Step 2: Watch these two videos. The first video is a reminder binary numbers. It will help to see this before watching the second video.
Take notes as you watch both vidoes.

After watching the second video answer these questions in your notebook.
What is the RGB name for turquoise?
How does a computer name turquoise?
Draw the math steps that were used in the video to explain how a function is used to filter an image.
Step 3: Turn your notes and responses to your teacher or EY coordinator.

Check out the Playing with Pixels badge at the EY website.

#93 Cake Pop Math

Did you hear that Scooter’s Coffee broke the Guinness World Record for the largest cake pop?!  This mini spark will give you the opportunity to learn more, explore spheres, and maybe even make your own cake pops!


Spark your math thinking!

#92: π Day

Pi is one the most studied numbers in mathematics and on March 14 (or 3/14), we celebrate Pi Day because 3.14 are the first digits of pi.

Spark your math thinking!

Create a info page about what you learned

I learn more about Pi, check out the pi masters badge at the EY website.

#91: Mythical Mathematical Mind Reader

This is an interesting game to solve. When you are done, challenge yourself to explain your math thinking.

Spark your math thinking!

  • Grab scratch paper

  • Set timer for 5 min 

  • Go to The Mind Reader website created by Transum and follow the instructions


The Mind Reader

  • Record all of your math step-by-step on your paper

  • Look for patterns

  • Brainstorm on possible reasons why The Mind Reader is able to predict your symbol every time.

  • At the end of the 5 minutes, write a several sentences about how you think this game works. 

lesson adapted from and Yummy math

#90: A Ridiculous, Long Way to Find Out the Day of the Week You Were Born

Do you know what day of the week you were born on?  If not, you could…

  1. Ask your parent(s)/guardian(s) if they remember the day of the week.
  2. You could “Google”: What day of the week was May 16, 1975 (that’s my birthday)


You can do this ridiculously long way…which is more fun IMO!

Spark your math thinking!

Step 1: Take the last 2 digits of the year in which you were born.

Step 2: Divide that number by 4 and ignore any remainder.

Step 3: Add the day of the month.

Step 4: Add the month’s key value.

  • January and October:Key Value = 1
  • February, March, and November: Key Value = 4
  • April and July: Key Value = 0
  • May: Key Value = 2
  • June: Key Value = 5
  • August: Key Value = 3
  • September and December: Key Value = 6

Step 5: Subtract 1 for January or February of a leap year.

Step 6:

  • Add 0 if the date is in the 1900s
  • Add 6 if the date is in the 2000s
  • Add 4 for the 1700s
  • Add 2 for the 1800s

Step 7:  Add the last 2 digits of the year.

Step 8: Divide by 7 and take the remainder.

  • Remainder 1 is Sunday
  • Remainder 2 is Monday
  • Remainder 3 is Tuesday
  • Remainder 4 is Wednesday
  • Remainder 5 is Thursday
  • Remainder 6 is Friday

Now double-check your work by searching on Google!  Bonus: Create a product that shows your work!  Look below for an example.

#89 Matrices

Matrices are rectangular arrangements of rows and columns. In this mini spark, you will learn about the basics of matrices.

Here are three examples.


Spark your math thinking!

Step 1: Start by taking out your math notebook.  Put the date at the top and put the title of this mini spark.

Step 2: Watch the 2 videos below and take notes with the new information you learned.

Step 3: Show your notes to your EY Coordinator and/or classroom teacher.

You can extend your learning by completing the Marvelous Matrices badge!

#88: EWeek (Engineer’s Week)

Calling all FUTURE ENGINEERS…Every year in February we celebrate EWeek. No matter what month it is, you can dive into this engineering career study and learn more about what types of work each engineer does to help our world.

Spark your math thinking!

1. Learn about 5 different types of engineers. Record the type of engineer and a description of the work they do.
2. Look over the descriptions for HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING Geomatics Engineering.
Hydraulic engineering is a subfield of civil engineering that centers around the transport and management of water resources. Hydraulic engineers design things like channels, canals, dams and levees. They must consider many factors before beginning a project, including the collection, storage, flow, measurement and use of the water, in order to ensure its control, safety and cleanliness
Geomatics engineers collect data and then analyze and interpret it to find solutions  Geomatics engineering plays an important role in construction, transport, communication, mapping and research.
3. Choose one engineering type and work on the 2 (or more if you want) of the problems from the problem set.
-Click here for the HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING problems:
-Click here for the Geomatics Engineering problems:
Ask your EY teacher for the solutions.

#87: Palindrome Party

From time to time we are lucky and have a Palindrome “Week”. In 2024 we had a 10 day stretch where the dates could be written as a palindrome!

The date reads the same forward as it does backwards.  This doesn’t happen often!

Spark your math thinking!

Check out the palindrome badge at the EY website.

#86 Football Roster Math

There is a plethora of data when it comes to sports!  Whether you’re looking at individual player stats, team rankings, or just want to see the breakdown of a particular game…MATH IS EVERYWHERE IN SPORTS!

Spark your math thinking!

This Mini Spark has you looking at the 23-24 Westside High School Varsity Football Roster.  Download and print a copy of the worksheet and roster by clicking the links below.  Or, you can complete the worksheet digitally using Notability or other app on your iPad.

Click here for the 23-24 roster

Click here for the math 23-24  problems

When you’re finished, show your classroom teacher and/or your EY Coordinator.

If you would like to try some more, here are some math problems using the 21-22 Westside High School Football JV and Varsity Football Roster.

21-22 Worksheet:

21-22. JV Football Roster:

21-22 Varsity Football Roster: