We receive lots of wonderful emails from our audience every week. Here’s just a selection. We’d love to find out what you think of the website and how you’re using the resources.
Movie: A Wildlife Refuge
“I love this movie for showing after I teach proportions. The students all love animals and they are amazed that math can help animals. This movie really shows the connection. It has beautiful shots of the refuge, and the speakers are very informative.”
MH, Adjunct Faculty Delaware County Community College
Movie: The Rhythm Track
“My middle school students were totally engaged by “The Rhythm Track” video! We did the “Cowbell Concerts” activity – great math connections to our unit on Rate and Ratio, as well as an excellent tie-in to radius. We will keep the cans and use them for geometry concepts. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
AL Middle School Mathematics Ada Merritt K-8 Center Miami, FL
Movie: Landscape Architects
“I am always looking for ways to introduce life long skills to my math classes. Being able to see things in perspective and to use scale drawings are skills that students need in any walk of life. Instead of my typical lesson plan using their bedroom and furniture to illustrate ratios and scale, the Landscape Architects movie gave me a better idea. I used the Landscape Architect Movie to introduce a “Design a New Entrance to Ludlow High School” project for my honors and regular geometry classes. We had been studying ratios and scale factors, both of which are important when making scale drawings. The group project included:
1. measurement of the outside area to be redesigned
2. creation of a 1/4 scale drawing of the existing space
3. design of new entrance with scale representation of benches, bushes, etc.
4. presentation and explanation of design to class.
“I liked the movie since it talked about geometry as the language of space. In addition to meeting math standards, this project helped the students to master the skill of creating a drawing to illustrate a space.
JS, Math Teacher Ludlow High School Ludlow, KY
GB, Library Media Specialist Irving, TX
“Your movies, synopses and extensions are a dream come true for teachers and students. Thanks for a great product! It has so many varied uses. I teach math K-5, and can adapt them all to all grade levels.”
AB, Hungerford Elementary Maitland, FL
“I have so enjoyed using these lessons. My students have risen to the challenges they offer. Keep them coming.”
PB, Fifth Grade Science Seminole County, FL
“Showing real life science skills application helps students and teachers to remember why we are doing all this!!!”
PB, Physical Science Kalakaua Middle School Honolulu, HI
Movie: Saving the Bald Eagle
“I love this video and share it with my kids during our endangered animal unit so they can see how math plays a role in helping endangered animals. Keep them coming!”
TB, 4th Grade Teacher Millbrook Elementary Raleigh, NC
“I continue to enjoy the “in his/her own voice” format many of these features use to convey the message; tends to hold students’ attention more than a scripted presentation.”
LS, Barrett High School Alpine, CA
Movie: Engineer Profile – Johnny Goff
“Great video. Students can have a clear understanding who engineers are and what they do!”
NM, M.S. Ed, Math Teacher West Broward High School Broward County, FL
Movie: Moorpark Zoo
“My students especially liked this video. I like the Hands-on Lesson. I modified it for 7th grade. We created box and whisker plots using our data from tracing the bobcat and butterflies.”
TB, Durant Road Middle School Raleigh, NC
Movie: Aquarium Makers
“Thank you for providing more activities to middle school math and science applications. Since most of my students are English Language Learners, besides using this film to teach math, I also use it for promoting listening and exposure to career and art.”
DH, Dickenson High School Dickenson, TX
Movie: Water Tanks
“This is one of my favorite movies as it teaches real life application of volume to students in a city they are familiar with no matter where they live. It also gave interesting information on how water is supplied to all the high-rise buildings.”
CC Special Ed Math Teacher Central Middle School Bartlesville, Ok
Movie: Designing Toy Cars
“I have been able to share this movie with my students when we study proportions. It has made a huge difference with helping them understand the relevance of the lesson and thinking about careers available to them in the future.”
JT, 6th Grade math Randall Middle School Tampa, FL
“The Future Channel videos are the first emails I open on the mornings they appear in my mailbox. I check them out and then forward them on to the Career and Tech teachers in my building. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from my colleagues. As the science resource teacher in a Career and Tech Ed building, I am always looking for ways to point out the science and math embedded in the Career/Tech curriculums. The videos stimulate discussion and motivate students to think of the possibilities that await them on their career path. Thank you!”
DM, Academic Liaison for Science Niagara Career & Technical Education Center
“All the movies you send are very interesting an informative. I am Career & Technology Teacher. We are challenged to show integration of academics with our programs. The movies are a good visual resource for demonstration. Thank you.”
RL, Career & Technology Teacher Houston, TX
“I love your material. I am a school library clerk and forward movies to our teachers when they apply to a unit that they are studying. I also forward the information to my young grandchildren, as several of them are very interested in math and science. Your animal films are superb. Thank you for the service that you provide, and many thanks to those who plan these films.”
PM, Lemoore, CA
“I use your videos when I need a real world situation to bring home how math matters.”
TS, Centennial Middle School Spokane, WA
“I love all the creativity and innovation you use to prove the importance of math and art, science and life! Live on!”
AB, Hungerford Elementary Maitland, FL
“I show the videos to my Geometry and Calculus classes and we discuss the need for mathematics in the occupations highlighted in your videos. These students really don’t get to see people doing their work and they also don’t understand all the dimensions to those jobs especially in science and manufacturing. I, of course, am partial to the videos on the space program.”
BK, Math Teacher South High School Minneapolis, MN
“Started watching before the students came in and couldn’t stop. I was thinking about a particular student who is investigating the field of music as a career/vocation and thinking of everything I should be doing in the math class to support that.”
BD, Monroe, OH
“Thank you for all you do, these are great, I hear the kids talking about them months later.”
RL, Granger Independent School District Granger, TX
“Information in the movie was clear and easy to understand. Great information from the professionals in their fields. Gives opportunity for students to learn about careers in those cluster.”
DD, M.Ed., CDF Berea Middle School Greenville, SC
“I taught Earth Sciences for 25 years and really appreciate your short, inspirational videos and lessons for they provide exciting opportunities for a change of pace. Your short videos bring abstract concepts into focus and give children a real face to put with their school lessons.”
VO, Computer Literacy Coordinator CAREER TRANSITIONS
School wind farm project aided by Futures Channel video:
“I am writing this letter to basically say thank you. Thank you for a wonderful tool for teachers to use in the classroom. The Futures Channel is one place to go when a subject needs to be explained in a clear and concise manner. The catchy, entertaining way that The Futures Channel draws students into learning hard facts of science, math, and technology are phenomenal. One of the most prominent examples of this is a segment on wind energy where Emily, a wind analyst, gives us a run down on what a wind analyst does. The intelligent yet simple explanation that Emily gives of the power in the wind formula along with the scene of Emily sitting in front of four computer screens give students the impression that here is a very intelligent, yet regular down to earth person who can speak the language of math science, and technology. This gives great encouragement to all of my students.
“We at Milford High School have been working with the wind since 2001 when we set up our first anemometer on loan from the State energy program. We have used the Pythagorean Theorem to square our anchor points and to measure the lengths of our guy wires. With the installation of this first meteorological tower we established a relationship with a commercial developer who has enlisted our help in installing other met towers and for some time had us gather all the data and send it to their meteorologist.
“I must say that even though we have been in on the ground floor of this project, we did not have the in-depth full picture of what our data was being used for until we saw Emily Hardy on The Futures Channel explaining and showing us what she does. To see the environment where an analyst works and to hear the description of work brings our education full circle.”
AS, Milford High School Milford, UT
“I teach at the Guidance Center in Pasadena, Texas. The Futures Channel website has been a GREAT site for my students. I teach Math and Science to 5th graders that are not cooperating with their home school guidelines. This site helps me to prepare interesting and informative plans.
LH, 5th Grade – Teacher Guidance Center Pasadena, TX
“The Futures Channel offers my diverse student body an opportunity to exit the classroom and review ‘REAL’ world applications. Thanks for your efforts. They are appreciated on a daily basis by more than 150 academically engaged students. Thanks.”
JL, Math Department Santa Fe High School Santa Fe, N.M
JP, Columbus, GA
Teacher Review: “Building and Testing Bike Wheels”
“I always choose the movies that relate to our curriculum in a way that engages my students. ‘Building and Testing Bike Wheels’ hit the mark for several reasons.
“The movie was fast-paced and informative, and it gave solid descriptions and explanations without going over students’ cognitive levels. The use of the scientific method for building and testing the bike wheels was an AHA! moment for me. I teach my 4th graders to think and act like scientists, and here they see people doing just the same thing.
“Because I teach in a standards-based classroom, we discuss the ‘why’ we learn what we do every day. My students enjoy seeing that what we learn in the classroom is applicable later in life. In particular, the segment when the designer is describing how his job is also his hobby is a teaching moment for me. What if he had not learned his mathematics? He wouldn’t now have the career of his dreams. Also, seeing a movie with real life uses of recent science standards (sound, force and friction) is very exciting.
“Lastly, all 4th graders have bikes and love seeing something they can relate to, in action. Whenever I show the movies, the discussion after the movie is an essential piece for my students.”
AA, Fourth Grade Teacher Johns Creek Elementary School Suwanee, GA
“I have been an avid collector of your lessons for several years and am very excited to see that you are including lessons for the younger children. Truly, if we are going to generate interest in mathematics in our students, then they need to see the real world connections and your web site does a beautiful job of sharing ways in which math is used in many professions and situations. The videos are engaging and your lessons are always well written.”
MM, Math Specialist. K-6 Anchorage, AK
NN, Grand Prairie Center South Grand Prairie, TX
“Thank you very much for this timely video. I will show it tomorrow to my methods classes on their first day of class to demonstrate a way to keep students engaged and to make math meaningful.”
Dr. ST Sam Houston State University Hunstsville, TX
“Long story short, I have VISUAL LEARNERS with backgrounds not conducive to seeing how their efforts NOW connect to the FUTURE SUCCESS!!! So I am a big fan of these movies. I used one last week on bicycles. “The bicycle is basically two triangles…” I used the movie in support of a lesson on triangles and then we made triangles out of strips of paper and brads. The movie was actually my “anticipatory set” which is to get the guys hooked into the lesson. But as you listen to this element in classrooms, you see “anticipatory set” has become TEACHER TALKING about what the lesson will be about. Well, TEACHER TALKING is not what my students need. They are lost or turned off by the time the lesson starts!!
“So, you are headed down the great road in using the visuals to make connections to the real world. Math is emerging!! Finally. We are getting ready to really look at math instruction for the rest of us!!
“Keep the movies coming. Best money I ever spent! Also, incidentally, loved the one on the structural engineer. All these folks—the stars—-so young and hip… great cultural and ethnically diverse representatives that make it REAL for my students.”
AV, Westside Community Schools Omaha, Nebraska
Movies great for algebra classes says Virginia Teacher!
“I teach Algebra 1 to students who don’t love math, but when they saw the skateboarding video it picked up their interest. For Algebra 2, those students enjoy math. They liked the wind surfing video that showed the practicality of quadratics! Again thanks! I love the resource!”
CD, Lafayette High School Williamsburg, VA
Futures Channel video inspires high school class!
“I just want you to know that (without bragging too much) my students are credited with attracting a large wind farm to our location. The groundbreaking ceremony will be in mid Oct. of this year. The 300MW wind farm was very hard to conceptualize until a friend sent me a link to your wind farm video. This really brought it home and put things in perspective.
“I must say that all of your material is so well done, but Ndugu Chancelor, the drummer, has been so inspiring to most of my classes and I do not teach music. The motivation of a man that loves what he does and puts technology in its place has been a great eye opener to my creative students who think computers are taking all the creativity out of the world. What great inspiration to be good at what you do and use technology to help your creativity.”
Thanks for such great stuff!!!
AS, Milford High School Milford, UT
Online movies combine math, science and technology to reach students.
“The resources are relevant to our daily lives and draws children into subjects they may never have considered before. By combining science and math with technology on a multi-media platform, The Futures Channel provides the means to reach students of most learning styles and helps children to understand various concepts they may not otherwise ‘get.’”
AH, Media Specialist Twain Harte, CA
Students are exposed to “opportunities that they never knew existed.”
“The most valuable aspect of The Futures Channel is that it gives children an opportunity to learn about how important math and science skills are in the professional world. The videos give children exposure to many career opportunities that they never knew existed.”
KP, Peter Woodbury School Bedford, NH
“Evidence” of real world uses of math, science and technology!
“The videos provide ‘evidence’ of people using the concepts students are learning in the real world.”
SF, Topeka, KS
Futures Channel videos cover a “wide variety of topics.”
“There is such a wide variety of topics from skateboards to horse doctor to algebra on The Futures Channel. Students enjoy the differences of learning techniques.”
VB Tulsa, OK
Movies “hook” students before lesson
“I like the movies because they’re short (my class is only 45 minutes long) and they ‘hook’ the students before I teach the lesson.”
HH, Middle School Teacher Grapevine, TX
Futures Channel: interesting and thought provoking.
“The Futures Channel provides students a wealth of information about subjects that they may know little or nothing about. It is always interesting and thought provoking.”
PC, Little Rock, AR
Movies are current and real.
“One of the most valuable aspects of the resources available at The Futures Channel is the fact that the videos and resources are very current–showcasing current technologies, applications as issues. A second valuable aspect is the fact that the videos contain real people doing real things–not ‘staged’ or ‘recreated’ with an actor playing the part.”
JM, West High School Anchorage, AK
Movies are exciting for both students AND teachers!
“The videos are exciting and lead to wonderful discussions, among students and teachers alike.”
PP, Killeen, TX
Videos “introduce students to careers they never dreamed of”
“I love these videos. As a science teacher, I find many of them most useful by serving many purposes. They introduce students to careers they never dreamed of or to opportunities they never knew existed. Students are introduced to the real people who work those jobs and have those careers, real people the students can relate to, just like themselves. They see role models, women in engineering positions, African Americans in cutting edge businesses, real people like themselves. In addition, they give them a sense of the innovation that is going on out there, something they too could be a part of. They’re answers for the question, ‘Why do we need to learn this stuff?’ and ‘How is algebra going to help me in real life.’ The videos shows students first hand how science and math are used in the real world and how they might put their skills and interests to good use.”
RF Richards Middle School Lawrenceville, GA
Futures Channel videos are multi-purpose tools for teacher!
“I love the videos.I use them to fill time, to introduce a concept, to practice writing, to show how math is used in the real world, etc. etc.
“Keep up the good work!!”
PH 8th grade – pre-algebra and algebra 1 Buckingham County Middle School Buckingham, VA
Website provides “double whammy” for students
“I teach careers, and it’s necessary that students use math. Anytime they can have a lesson that relates to the ‘real world,’ or can be taught something that they can apply to their own life is more useful than anything I can show them in a book. The videos are a great double whammy for my kids because they see the career in action and they see how math is important in that career. Thanks, Susan”
SC, Mary Persons High School Forsyth, GA
Students can SEE new technology in “The Wind Business”
“I just wanted to let you know that these clips work perfect for my AP Environmental Science classes. The students can actually see what I am talking about and learn about new technology. I also plan to use them in the new S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) class.
“Thank you and keep up the great work!”
Website provide vast amount of information and videos
My name is SK and I am working as a Mathematics Lecturer at Salisbury University, MD. I came across your website recently and was amazed by it. The website is a great source for students to see many concepts in one place. It helps them build the connection between classroom education and the real world. I was very impressed by the vast amount of information available there, especially the videos.”
SK, Mathematics Lecturer Salisbury University Salisbury, MD
North Carolina educator enjoys the high quality material
“Thank you so much for the HIGH QUALITY WORK. I use your materials on a weekly basis. The real world connections————science/technology———careers—all are excellent. I have had Social Studies added to my hectic school schedule and the people, places, food, etc. have been the interest that my classes have needed.
“Keep it coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
JE Surry County
“Fantastic teaching tool for anyone who wants to use it”
“I first used Futures Channel last school year. I have the DVD disc set with the notebook full of wonderful information which was purchased for me by my school district. It is fantastic because the clips are short, to the point and easy to find and play. I often use more than one video during a class. Then, this year I decided to go to your website to see what else you have. To my surprise you have videos there too. So to make it possible for my students to review the information, I have set up the web links on my teacher page so the students can easily visit the page to review the information. It is really fantastic. What a wonderful source for a wealth of information. You have provided a fantastic teaching tool for anyone who wants to use it. The videos are excellent supplement material for my classroom content.”
RS Technology Education Teacher District 279, Osseo Schools Brooklyn Jr. High
“I LOVE THIS WEBSITE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am a teacher of Gifted Students in the Cherry Creek School District and our lead focus this year is on the ‘STEM’ disciplines. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. I started a ‘STEM’ club where we have fun exploring all of these areas grades K-5. I show several of your videos to all of my students and they LOVE it! What a professional, easily navigated, FUN and interesting website for all ages. Thank you!”
AS, MAEd. Gifted and Talented Teacher, Peakview Elementary School Centennial, CO
Resources teach design and innovation from the math and science perspective.
“Ohhh My Gosh. I just found your incredible resource and have been geeking for over an hour. I have fallen in love with your resources to teach design and innovation from the Math and Science perspective. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This site made my day. I e-mailed it out to all of our teachers.”
JS, International Baccalaureate Coordinator Pacific Beach Middle San Diego, CA
Second grade students “on the edge of their seats”
“Yesterday’s science lesson was about different kinds of energy and the ‘Wind Business’ lesson/video was a perfect example of one very powerful kind of “free and clean” energy. My second grade students were ‘on the edge of their seats’ with this one!
“Thanks again for inspiring students at all grade levels to enjoy Math and Science and for demonstrating how Math and Science are important in the classroom, as well as for future college plans and career paths!”
GH, 2nd grade teacher Forest Ridge Elementary Citrus County Florida
“Hello! I have to say that I LOVE your videos and classroom activities that go along with them. I have been using them for two years!
“I am a teacher of gifted and talented for grades 1 – 4 in Bedford, NH. I find that I can “scale down” many of the activities for children this age. The videos are just the right length to hold students’ attention who are at this age.
“For example, one of the films was about a female scientist who works with bugs. I presented the video with the whole class using a light box and then modified the follow-up lesson for first graders and they loved it.
“I love the films because they stress the importance of Math and how many occupations use Math at all levels. I would say that I draw from your lessons at least once a week – even if it is to inspire me to create an innovative lesson on my own!
“Another way that the lessons helpful are to help classroom teachers differentiate instruction within their classroom. Students who need a challenge can view the video and work independently or in small groups.
“Thank you so much for also showing that women have important roles in Science and in Math. I know those videos have inspired many of my students – they now know how many opportunities there are out there in the professional world that they may have not even thought about!”
KP Gifted and Talented Teacher Peter Woodbury School Bedford, NH
Short movie length equals easy to show anytime
“I use the videos when I have extra time at the beginning and end of the day because the students love the videos and are learning while being entertained. They are great at any time. I like that the videos are short and can be used in a short amount of time. They are wonderful!”
GR 7th grade Math Dickerson Middle School Marietta, GA
Movies Show How Math is “Integrated into Our World”
“Your website is absolutely one of my favorites! I teach an advanced fifth grade math class, so these students are particularly interested in seeing how math is integrated into our world.
“Keep up the great work!! These are awesome videos!!”
GJ, Fifth grade White Oak Elementary
“When we pull down the big screen and visit the Futures Channel, all eyes are focused on the lesson!”
“Dear Futures Channel Team,
“The Futures Channel is without a doubt the first one I recommend to colleagues.
“My second grade students (third grade last year) love the videos and lessons that you send. Today we watched ‘The Forester’ during our Science time and many students noticed that Science and Math are very closely related. The forester discussed measuring the heights of trees, the diameter, re-planting seedlings, etc. She also talked about forest fires, lightening strikes, and that in turn tied in with a writing prompt that we are working on about fire-safety tips. When we pull down the big screen and visit the Futures Channel, all eyes are focused on the lesson!
“I visit the Futures Channel with my students at least once a week and view one or two of the videos that are related to the main video/lesson.”
GH Forest Ridge Elementary 2nd grade teacher Citrus County, FL
Students Enjoy Real World Connection to Academic Subjects
“I use the video clips as a warm-up. The students enjoy watching the videos because it shows them what real people are doing and how the academic subjects are applied.”
CC Technology Education Elkins Pointe Middle School Roswell, GA
Uses Futures Channel Movies Every Week in 9th Grade Physical Science Class
“I really enjoy your videos – I teach 9th grade Physical Science and I let the students watch the video that’s emailed to me every week – no matter if it is in that week’s objectives or not – the students like to discuss them and I can always find a way to integrate the material through science or technology.
“I have also used the lesson plans that come with the videos. They were well designed. And I have shared this resource many times with the math teacher, as well as the band teacher (drumming) and the other science teacher.”
DW South Harrison School District, MO
Great Site for Gifted Students
“I am the gifted and talented coordinator at this elementary school and part of my job is to find resources for my colleagues This is a great site for all kids but especially my gifted because I can bump up their lessons.”
KG Graff Elementary School Website Laurel, MT
Futures Channel Resources are Easy to Use, But Challenging to Students
“I love your resources. They are so easy to use, but yet they challenge my students. I love how you are able to take the real world and apply the mathematical concepts. The activities and the videos make the classroom exciting and a great learning environment. Thanks so much.”
AG Fannin Middle School Blue Ridge, GA
Wind Farming video is all time favorite!
“Thanks so much for sending these! I love them! I’m a choir teacher and some of these I can use in my classroom and some not. BUT, I still watch them.
“My all time favorite is the one about the big windmills and wind farming. I rode right through a big wind farm in Scotland this summer. I’ve been able to get to within about 20 feet of the base of one in the central England. What a cool sound they make! I am totally fascinated by them and have been for several years. So I particularly appreciate you sending that one out.”
“Thanks for all you do for us!”
JH Choral Director Bay High School Panama City, FL
Kudos for providing students with “wonderful learning opportunities”
“I could not agree more. Kudos! Your site has offered my students and me wonderful learning opportunities. I look forward to using this site frequently in my lesson planning for math and science for my fifth graders.”
Thank you for all your hard work.
PB Strive to Learn Fifth Grade
Movie Review: Inventing Toys
“I thought the movie about designing the K’nex toys was great for several reasons:
“1. It got my attention right away with the sound effects and bright colors of the toy.
“2. Many of my students have no idea that there are people who have jobs like those in the movie.
“3. I have SO MUCH trouble sometimes trying to connect what they are learning in 7th grade math to how it is used in the real world.
“4. This movie would get students thinking ‘Wow!! I draw stuff all the time but I never knew I might could have a job that put my ideas to work!’
“I teach at a low-income school. We are always looking for ideas to implement in the classroom, especially during the last 6 weeks of school after the students have taken the state mandated tests and feel like they don’t need to learn anything for the remainder of the year. One lesson we have used is building bridges with Legos. We have Lego sets for them to use, and I discovered that unlike my own children, most of these children have never constructed with Legos, which also explains some of their lack of math concepts. Anyway, it would be great to include something like K’nex and allow them to use their own imaginations (and 7th graders have PLENTY of imagination) to design a toy. The lesson could be introduced with the movie. Again, thank you for The Futures Channel!! I have emailed my principal and encouraged her to check out your website to see if she might be willing to purchase the resources available through The Futures Channel. We want every student to succeed and do all that we can to accomplish that goal. Thank you for the movie preview.”
Educational videos provide virtual field trips.
“I just have to tell you how I LOVE this site. I can almost guarantee you that I can integrate it into my curriculum every week. I teach 2nd grade. Our school is in the middle of Microsoft headquarters but on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ so to speak. Our demographic data verifies a low to mid-income range with parents who would rather work 2 jobs than take welfare if at all possible. We have about 11 languages plus English – which is predominate – spoken in the homes. We all know that without experiences reading comprehension declines. Sadly we each get only one field trip per year by school bus and the PTA tries to pay for that and the kids try to pay the cost of the event itself. That may be a challenge for many families so a site like yours is more helpful than you may realize. Not only are we working with a technology driven generation but shorter and shorter attention spans as well.”
“Your site helps to:
“Generate a visual image of a concept or process that may not be understood by non-English speaking families or families who do not provide experiences for their families.
“Emphasize the mathematical/scientific thinking, problem solving, team work application and clearly states that in basic terms that relate directly to the conceptual process they may be wallowing in. For example I connected to ‘The Backpack Designer’ after watching ‘The Shape of Phones’ and he clearly stated the need for geometry in the design process. Another min or so added to the film would be wonderful to make those links a bit more direct and concrete rather than just assuming that if someone uses the term “ geometry” or whatever, the viewer will grasp the connection.
“Provide student centered interest areas for expanding the vision of math and science knowledge. My 2nd graders are currently doing their annual research project on pirates which is their 4th project requiring research into a topic and the creation of a demonstration of their learning for an audience. They are also working on inventions to solve a need in the world so you can see how inspiring your video clips can be to kids.
“We just finished our 2nd focus on measurement for the year that included cooking and establishing how to do surveys, create a bar graph with an x and y axis, determine a data range and label it. Not bad for 7 and 8 year olds! Now we can pinpoint those same skills and concepts in your videos.
“I would love to see more lesson plans for younger kids instead of always 6th grade and up.
“Thanks again for your programs!”
KM Juanita Elementary Kirkland, WA
Futures Channel Videos: Motivation for students in science and math classes.
“I was introduced to the Futures Channel today, and I am very impressed. This could be a great tool for substitute teachers to use. As a teacher of gifted students, the resources on the website could also be used to motivate students in science and math classes.”
SP Bloomfield High School Bloomfield, NM
The Futures Channel provides teacher with real world math applications.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I just discovered your site this evening as I was doing a last minute search for an introduction to my lesson for tomorrow’s class. I am a 54 year old first year teacher and have struggled this entire year to teach math to 170 7th graders who want to be anywhere doing anything other than sitting in a my classroom working math problems!!!! Thanks to the videos you have available on your site, they are going to be able to SEE PEOPLE USING MATH!!!! GEOMETRY IN ACTION!! We are going to build spaghetti towers tomorrow and I really wanted to impress upon them the value of triangles in construction. I am thrilled to have found you and plan to share you with the other math teachers at George Junior High. Wish I had discovered you sooner but at least I will have a MUCH better, and certainly more resourceful, year next year!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
Sincerely, ST George Junior High Rosenberg, TX
Videos help students make real world connections!
“Dear Futures Channel,
“Recently a teaching colleague (Math) sent me a link of one of your weekly streaming videos. What a fantastic resource!!! I teach 6th & 7th Grade Technology Education in Baldwinsville, NY and we have an eclectic course of activities from Aquaponics, solar powered Lego cars and a unit on CO2 Car Design. Your video productions have really been a great way to bring the real world into our small scale projects. The students really enjoy them and can make the connection to what we do in class with what the subject matter of the videos.
“Thank you for the incredible resource and the extremely well produced videos!”
Sincerely, ML Technology Teacher
Futures Channel “answers the age-old question, ‘When am I ever going to use this?’ in a real way.
“A significant part of my job is working with highly able (a broader group than the truly gifted) students in grades 3-5, primarily providing enrichment in the areas of reading and math. I used the’How Tall?‘ activity with my students as an extension of finding equivalent fraction. We found the heights of the students in the room using the proportions and then confirmed with measuring. We continued by going outside and using the formula on objects we could not measure like the flagpole. The students enjoyed it and got to see how some of the concepts they encounter in school apply in life. That is perhaps what I like most about your site, it answers the age-old question, ‘When am I ever going to use this?’ in a real way.”
Thank you again, JB Joseph Covington Elementary School Oak Lawn, IL
“I wish you could see my entire class ‘glued’ to the monitor!”
“More and more, my students beg to see what Futures Channel has for the week. It’s not only a part of my lesson, but it’s a treat for the class. I use it as a reward. Thank you for bringing such exciting, informative and captivating programs right into our classroom. The various professions have also awakened interest in many students. I wish you could see my entire class ‘glued’ to the monitor! Often times we play the whole segment over, or parts of the segment. My class is made up of 15 Chapter One students. We all love all the experiments and the concrete examples, applications and thought provoking segments.”
AB Hungerford Elementary Maitland, FL
Movie Review: The First American Coins
“During my viewing of the micro-documentary The First American Coins, I was struck by the entertaining and, yet, educational approach in which it was presented. The length of time and pace was appropriate for an introduction into the subject matter.
“The choice to select collectors, businessmen and enthusiasts who were young was brilliant; for this field might be thought of as being dominated by older individuals. By selecting younger professionals, students would be more apt to connect with the presenter and, perhaps, even envision themselves in such a career.
“The video would appeal to any student interested in the following topics: colonial times in the United States, mathematics and, of course, the history of coins in the United States. Each one of these topics were included and discussed by passionate practicing professionals who work in the field.
“A teacher wishing to introduce any of the above mentioned subjects would have an opportunity to do so by using this method – an upbeat and modern video. I am certain that there are students who are genuinely interested in coin collecting and are not aware, for lack of exposure, that there are careers in this field. Perhaps they will be inspired to pursue their interest further based on the knowledge and excitement that the presenters demonstrated. This serves as an affirmation to any student who questions their quirky or unusual penchant for a particular area of interest. As one of the interviewees stated, he is as thrilled today working with rare coins as he was collecting pennies when he was a boy. He provides a fine example that one can follow an adolescent passion into a career as an adult.”
CC PS 19, Schoolwide Enrichment Programs New York City, NY
Movie Review: Recycling Computers
“As I watched this, I was struck with the complexity of the components of the computers and of the apparent need to recycle these prevalent items in our lives.
“The video depicts the process in which this company disassembles and prepares the components for recycling. The 5th Graders I teach will be able to take real world knowledge of electronics that they have and be able to immediately connect to the video. I would hook this lesson first with a discussion of what electronics we have in our houses- it will definitely reflect the list given in the opening sentences of the video. The pace of the video is good with frequent mentions of pertinent statistics, such as how many workers they employ and how many computers they disassemble a day.
“The vocabulary of the piece is age-appropriate for intermediate grades and the visuals of the actual processes will definitely peek interest in this age range. One of the best features of the video is the use of language and vocabulary such as hard drive, plastic, glass, cell phone, etc. that students are already familiar with and therefore will heighten their interest and participation in the video and subsequent activities. To properly “get” the statistics and data and really apply this knowledge, I would view the video, establish a word resource list and a statistic list as a whole group activity. Then, I would replay the video.
“Follow up activities will be easy to derive based on the statistics and data in the video. Not only is this appropriate to include in an Earth Day unit, but also in a graphing unit or pre-algebra lesson (patterns). I am also envisioning a critical or persuasive writing assignment on this topic.”
RH Fayetteville Intermediate School Fayetteville, GA
Classroom ideas for “The Backpack Designer “
“As I was watching the video ‘The Backpack Designer,’ I was in awe at the creativity that one has to have in order to come up with a design.
“You could have students try to create a design for a backpack in class, determine its volume and maybe try to get them to create one from poster board or card stock to see what it would look like.
“We will start with ideation. I really liked the part that said he created a lot of drawings for just one design and took some of the best parts of all the designs to come up with one that was best. I would stress the fact that you don’t create something the first time you try. You have to create a lot of designs to get just one right! That is so real life. So many of my kids think that you have to do things the right way the first time and while we test that, that is why we practice, practice and do more practice. It really models real life situations in a creative and fun way. If they write a paper, they like to just sit down at a computer and start writing. They don’t put the time in to create a “web” and rough draft.
“After ideation, I will have them determine the volume of their bag. I will probably incorporate recent findings as to the sizing of backpacks and problems that come from children wearing and handling backpacks that are designed for larger people. Ah, just thinking out loud, I may have one group design backpacks for elementary-aged students, another do middle school and a third group do high school/college. I really thought the part about sizing the shoulder straps emphasized the human component of the design; that we constantly have to think about who is going to use it and its practicality.
“Once they have come up with a design, I will have them create a pattern for their backpack from poster board or some other flexible material. This would allow them to choose a color for their backpack. This may be difficult so I may have to stop the video on that section and help them identify all the individual pieces of the backpack.
“This was a really good video as it affects almost every student in school. I am sure they have not put forth a lot of thought that someone has created that piece and the amount of time and effort that went into its creation. You could easily have a class discussion on if there were any other needs for backpacks besides for books, clothing or food as was suggested in the video and have them design one for a specific use. You could easily “hook” them on the need for a backpack designed for a laptop.
“Good job, I really enjoyed the video and could see where it would spark a lot of creativity from students.”
NQ Greenwood High School Bowling Green, KY
California teacher enjoys the Futures Channel’s movies as much as his students.
“I am so impressed with the movies, and enjoy each one as much as the students. We are fans of your program. Keep up the good work, and feel free to contact me at any time in the ‘future.'”
BG Foothill Middle School Prather, CA
Musician demonstrates the importance of math in drumming
“I watched the video yesterday entitled ‘The Rhythm Track’ and I enjoyed it very much. Many school age students are fascinated with music and watch television shows such a MTV, VH1, & BET. They aspire to be great musicians as well and I feel that these programs and shows do not always portray the musicians as ‘great’ role models and gear their videos as if everyone has extravagant lifestyles, fancy cars, and a lot of money.
“Unfortunately most of our students’ lives are not like what is depicted within the videos and they end up with a false sense of reality. The gentleman in the video entitled ‘The Rhythm Track’ is a fabulous role model and appears very professional. He exhibits a love for music and it shows in what he does. As with all of the videos I have watch so far, they display all kinds of professions with all types of people – it shows real diversity. It is very positive to portray every child’s culture to show them that they can be anything they want as long as they stay in school and follow their dreams. Students are engaged when they can see everyday people doing everyday things. They are able to make those real life connections and aspire to be like the people that motivate them. The video demonstrates only one reason or career path to show why Math is such a valuable tool and there are so many other reasons and careers. The man in the video talked about multiplication, division, subtraction, and addition while demonstrating how he must use those skills within his profession. Most kids would not even realize that those skills were involved, because he made it look easy and fun! He kept me engaged and I enjoyed learning from all of the videos even as an adult.
“I could see teaching a lesson geared towards upper elementary and middle school discussing fractions – equivalent fractions, reducing, multiplying, dividing, finding common denominators, etc.
“You could also apply this video to teach students beats per minute, beats per second, compare which one has more beats, which rhythm requires more beats per second or minute, greater than or less than. Students could also journal write, compare and contrast, or investigate the different styles of music that were presented within a math journal.
“Endless possibilities!!!! Thanks for the video and your efforts to enhance the education of our future and motivate our students!!!!”
MH Pasadena ISD Pasadena, Texas
“What a great promo for learning math.”
“Thank you. What a great promo for learning math. I will share this link with many teachers and their students! The Futures Channel does wonderful videos to engage students!”
MS Program Director Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing Georgia Institute of Technology
NASA videos show wonderful role models and careers.
“Amazing website. This really gives students an opportunity to see real life jobs and activities that apply to lessons they are learning. The NASA videos always gives students a representation of a wonderful role model and career.”
MH Pasadena ISD Pasadena, Texas
Movie Review: The Skateboard Designer
“The fast clip of the design and production scenes, interspersed with the quick tricks and acrobatic maneuvers of the skateboarders, keeps the viewer’s interest and demands a second look at the video frames.
“I think that the first run grabs your attention, and you may want to replay a board trick or flip just to see it again. As a classroom application, I would want to quickly discuss the technical aspects of the sport and of the skateboard. Then, I would want to replay the movie pointing out the emphasis on precision measurements, structural design, and strength testing of the product.
“I would pause the scenes of the design sketch, the caliper measurements, and the layers of maple regarding strength and flexibility as well as the inherent weakness along the grain of the wood. Depending on the abilities of my students and the course curriculum, I would emphasize algebraic and geometric design with precision in measurement. It would be good to have a couple of skateboards, one in good condition and one that has been damaged. Students could use the classroom set of calipers and tapes to measure the dimensions of the boards and indicate or predict stress points in the structure.
“For a group or partners project, the students might design and produce a similar model using cardstock or basswood. The utility purposes of the “truck” part of the skateboard could be extended to heavy shop equipment, office equipment and furniture. The movie could be referenced in relation to many other integrated math-science lessons on forces of motion, speed, balance, and strength capacity measurements.
“My own students are in a very rural area and do not have much personal experience with skateboarding. I believe that they still have a very positive response to the movie and to its applications and relationships to other sports and activities. They have much more experience with basketball, ATVs, heavy-duty trucks, heavy equipment, pipeline production, private and commercial construction.
“This movie was a very nice, quick-paced and packed production with great shots and editing.”
JB Plainview High School Glenmora, LA
Great lesson ideas for “The Skateboard Designer”
“I teach 6th grade math. I liked the video and I think my students would too. Skate boarding is something my students enjoy and we have a skate park here in Cody, Wyoming. I would use this to tie in with any type of measurement lesson. Ideas off the cuff: Maybe test different types of wood for stability and change thicknesses. Make a ‘mock’ skateboard with different types of materials. Take real boards and change the position of the wheels to test the boards for various things such as speed, turning ratios and such. Hope this helps and keep the great real-world videos and lessons coming!!”
“The Space Sling” perfect for students interested in science and engineering”
“This was an awesome movie. I plan to share it with students I know have an interest in science and engineering. Thank you!”
“I forward the site to the teachers at my school and they use them as supplemental material. Everyone loves the information. Students too!”
LM, Math Resource Teacher
Futures Channel great for thinking skills and career opportunities
“I really enjoy using your materials with my talented students. It pushes their thinking skills and shows them additional avenues they may want to pursue later in life. The activities are a great addition…Keep them coming!”
JB, Joseph Covington Elementary School Oak Lawn, IL
Videos are “the bomb! I love these videos. They are the bomb!”
BM, Greenbrier High School Evans, GA