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Coral Calculus: A Pi in the Sky Math Challenge

Illustration of an airplane flying over the ocean with coral shown below the water surface
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Source: NASA JPL
[30-Mar-2021] Scientists use light and color in many ways to learn more about ocean ecosystems. In this activity, students will work on a math problem from NASA's COral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL) mission. This mission mapped coral reefs from an airplane using spectroscopy to study how light interacts with the reefs. Scientists were then able to use these maps to better understand the health of Earth's coral reefs.

The "Pi in the Sky" math challenge gives students a chance to find solutions to real-world problems just like NASA scientists and engineers. In this activity, students use the mathematical constant pi to measure the water depth of an area mapped during the CORAL mission.
Coral Calculus: A Pi in the Sky Math Challenge
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