NCSSM Outreach

The North Carolina School of Science and Math offers excellent outreach in STEM areas for NC teachers through workshops, collaborative efforts and presentations. They are now offering free webinars too! Check out this excellent list of live and archived webinars to help you meet your classroom STEM and Common Core objectives.

Here’s a description of next week’s activity:


Variations on the Wire Problem

Chris Gann, NCSSM mathematics instructor
Workshop Date: 
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 – 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Workshop Description:
In this session we will discuss a classic optimization problem, “How do we cut a piece of wire and bend the pieces into regular polygons to enclose either minimum or maximum area?”


To help students make sense of this problem, Chris will demonstrate a hands-on activity that students can use to model the problem.  Then we will use the graphing calculator to simulate the process of cutting, bending, and computing the area.  We will use the quantitative reasoning from our simulation as a guide to help us write a mathematical model and then graph the function to find the precise answer to the posed problem.


The Mathematical Practices in the Common Core Standards addressed in this activity are:

  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • Model with mathematics.
  • Use appropriate tools strategically.