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Issue 39: It's in the News! Space Junk

This activity from the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) Primary magazine takes the issue of space junk as its central theme. There are opportunities to develop and understanding of time and time zones, probability, mass, speed and large numbers relating to distances.

Other opportunities offered are links to geography and science and lines of possible research using ICT. The resource contains a colourful students' sheet and a set of teachers' guides. The latter contains comprehensive notes for possible lessons identifying the mathematics that could be developed as well as links to other relevant resources.

The mathematics of space junk provides opportunities to discuss very large and very small numbers, metric/ imperial conversion, time and time zones. Shape, symmetry and reflection repeating patterns all develop naturally from observation of satellites, these could lead to model making and further use of the vocabulary of shape.

Linking with the geographical aspect, information about annual temperature and rainfall, population and currency can all be explored.

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