Summertime is here. As the temperature rises, let’s find out how math and sciences have changed the world in the month of June. Spark Math by Spark Education is continuing our series, “This Month in Math History: June.” From discovering how to power your favorite tech to celebrating the longest day of the year, here’s the math that makes June special. Check out the great math history for the month of June.
June 15th, 1752 Benjamin Franklin did his kite experiment, showing electricity and lightning are the same. (Changing the world forever)
Benjamin Franklin is one of the most important people to have ever lived. An inventor, American founding father, scientist, and most importantly, mathematician. His most famous experiment is his kite experiment. Using a kite, string, and a key tied to it, he discovered that lightning was the same thing as electricity. Proving this connection would lead to a new age of industry across the world, as well as new math formulas to help these new discoveries create more advanced lives.
Franklin not only showed the connection between electricity and lightning but also showed electrical charges can be stored in jars. He called these jars batteries. He created the ability to charge and discharge these batteries, leading to everything from lights to the smartphone. Today scientists use ” OHM’s Law” to measure electricity, finding out how powerful or safe an electrical circuit is. Making electrical systems safe is one of the many ways electricians use math while working. Even Benjamin Franklin made sure to take precautions during his experiment. With a better understanding of electricity through math, people can stay connected to their favorite devices without worrying about their safety.
The Statue of Liberty By The Numbers!
The French gave the U.S. the gift of the Statue of Liberty arriving on June 17th, 1885. Here are some facts about Lady Liberty
- The statue is over 305 feet from the ground to the tip of her torch. (that’s 5 feet taller than an American football field!)
- She weighs over 204 metric tonnes.
- Her foot measures 25 feet; that’s a shoe size 879!
- In high winds, the statue can sway up to 3 inches back and forth.
June 21st is the longest day of the year (In the Northern Hemisphere)
Science is the study of the natural world, but what do we use to explain that world? Math helps science explain and predict what the natural world is capable of. Science explains that the Earth travels around the sun and the Earth rotates on its axis. People used math to formulate our concept of time in the form of years, months, and days. By counting the hours in a day that the sun is out the longest, math helped determine that June 21st is the day with the longest amount of light in a day, “The Summer Solstice”.
Summer Solstice Trivia!
Because of the rotation of the earth, “The Summer Solstice” in the Northern Hemisphere is in June but in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s in December.
The rich history of math in June reminds us that both the natural world and man-made world is composed of math. Math helps us understand how the Earth’s movement helped create the calendar. Math is also the reason science discovered how to power the device you’re reading this on. Math is the framework for buildings, structures and even giant statues that are also buildings. Science and math work hand in hand to discover new technology, including those found in your home to keep cool during the summer. If you enjoy learning about how master problem solvers use math to build famous buildings or fly across the world, why not become one yourself with help from Spark Math By Spark Education?
Check out the Spark Math Pintrest page for fun activities and more math history!