Sink or Float Materials Bundle! $48.50!
Everything your favorite teacher (you) need for one or several lessons where students explore their world and apply what they know and learn.
MatheMUSEments Square Wheel
By Ivars Peterson
Riding around on a flat tire is no fun. It feels really bumpy. But a square wheel may be the ultimate flat tire. There's no way it can roll over a flat, smooth road without jolting the rider again and again.
Stan Wagon, a mathematician at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, has a bicycle with square wheels. It's a weird contraption, but he can ride it perfectly smoothly. His secret is the shape of the road over which the wheels roll.
A square wheel can roll smoothly if it travels over evenly spaced bumps of just the right shape. That special shape is called an inverted catenary. A catenary is the curve formed by a chain or rope hanging loosely between two supports.
MORE: 1. visit - http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/pages/puzzlezone/muse/muse0299.asp
and 2. (click on picture)
lastly 4. http://www.maa.org/mathland/mathtrek_04_05_04.html
but you can probably find more on your own.... :-)