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Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications

January 25, 2023
Written on . Posted in Math Curriculum, Math Modeling.

New Math Module: Could These Bones Be Amelia Earhart's?

One of the many math resources we provide is a growing collection of math modeling modules students and teachers can use in class. We have a fun one this month! Students will determine whether a set of bones found on Nikumaroro Island might be Amelia Earhart's.

Format of the Module

This module includes four activities that guide students in developing a model for predicting human stature from bone lengths by:

  1. Working with a model that predicts height from tibia length
  2. Making a scatterplot of height versus forearm length from the class data
  3. Leveraging data from the Forensic Anthropology Data Bank at the University of Tennessee on height and bone lengths
  4. Using the coefficient of determination, a measure of the strength of a linear relationship

Once the activities are complete, students use their models and data on the bone lengths found on Nikumaroro Island to determine whether the bones might be Amelia Earhart's.

Materials Needed

To complete this math module, the materials needed are:

  • Meter sticks, rulers, or tape measures with option for measurements in centimeters (Activity 1)
  • Graph paper (Activity 2)
  • Graphing calculators or computer software such as Excel, Desmos, GeoGebra (Activities 3 and 4)

What’s Included

Along with the four guided activities, this math module includes:

  • Preliminary reading
  • Lesson notes
  • Activity answers

How to Get the Math Module

Download this math module here. It is available to all students and educators with a free COMAP membership

Want more math modules? You can access all of the math modules we have available here.