Rodent Romp Through McGuffey Hall
Robert J. Kansky
Euclid, the pet
white rat of a science educator at Miami University,
recently sneaked out of his cage in McGuffey Hall and took an unguided tour
of the building. Euclid was wearing a StowAway temperature probe at the
time he went awandering;
temperatures were recorded at regular intervals during his tour. Later, a
computer was used to convert those readings into two graphs.
Everything you need in order to respond to the
following tasks is available on one or both of the two graphs. [Since
information is displayed in
degrees Celsius, you might want to recall the following "reference"
readings: distilled water freezes at about 0°C; the nationally recommended
room temperature is about 20°C; normal human (oral) body
temperature is about 37°C; distilled water boils at about 100°C.]
- Exactly when (date and time) did Euclid's tour take place?
- How long was it? ______________
What was the highest temperature experienced during the
- At what time was the lowest temperature recorded?
- Seven "peaks" and "valleys" (labeled A through G) appear between
26:00 and 40:00. Some "walking around" temperatures were recorded
those peaks and valleys as Euclid scooted from location to location.
Each peak or valley can be associated with a particular location of
Euclid during his meanderings. Those locations are given below, but
are not listed in the order in which they were recorded
by the StowAway.
- Probe immersed in a pot of hot coffee before
Euclid took a sip
- Under the arm of a faculty member Euclid joined
for a quick snooze
- Trailing Euclid as he rummaged around on the desk
of the Dean
- In the water of the water cooler as Euclid took a
- Out on a window sill as Euclid enjoyed a breath of
- Atop the (operating) air conditioning vent in the
- Atop an (operating) computer monitor in the lab
Match these 7 events with the 7 peaks and valleys on the graph.
Identify the two consecutive events between which
there is greatest rate
of change in termperature during the tour. Express that rate of change in
rate of change________________
- Select the 2 points you are most confident that you have associated
with the right events. For each point, tell why you feel confident about
- Pick the 1 point in which you have least confidence and tell why.
At the beginning of this essay, it was said that temperatures were
regular intervals. About how long was each interval?
Here are the two graphs that describe Euclid's tour. Graph 1 is a line
graph that connects the readings taken by the StowAway. Graph 2 displays each individual reading as a dot
but doesn't connect them.
With the aid of a Scoring Profile
this exercise could be used