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Final Quantitative Reasoning Project: Planning a Sesquicentennial Celebration

This page authored by Corri Taylor, Wellesley College.
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Summary

This project serves as the final project for Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning, a course for first-year students who need to improve their quantitative skills before they may enroll in quantitative coursework at Wellesley College. The project gives students practice spelling out assumptions, applying mathematical models, creating tables and graphs, and explaining calculations and models in writing.

Learning Goals

Context for Use

This final project is for first-year students in a basic skills quantitative reasoning course at Wellesley College. Course content included unit conversions, geometry, estimation, and personal finance. Students have used Excel throughout the course. The project is designed to give students a practical application that combines the various skills they have learned throughout the semester.

Description and Teaching Materials

Image of fireworks

This final project challenges students to combine unit conversions, geometry, estimation, and personal finance modeling in one holistic, real world analysis. Students write an executive summary and a longer document supported by tables, graphs and calculations.

Student have fun with this project. They plan an elaborate dinner celebration and figure out how to construct a decorative wooden display cake from which helium balloons are released, just before a fireworks display. Students budget for all the relevant costs and consider various approaches to saving enough funds to cover thees future expenses.

The details of the assignment are here. [file 11859 '']

Teaching Notes and Tips

Students are allowed to work on this project independently or in groups of two or three individuals.

Assessment

I use a simple rubric for assessing these projects:

References and Resources

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