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Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Percentage of Copper in Ore part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Suppose that you are building a new house. It will take about 90 kg (198 pounds) of copper to do the electrical wiring. In order to get the copper in the first place, someone needs to mine solid rock that ...
Reading Topographic Maps and Calculating Map Scale part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Leslie Kanat, Johnson State College
Use a topographic map to deliniate a watershed, draw a map bar scale, and calculate a map ratio scale.
How Big is a Trillion? part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching Quantitative Reasoning with the News:Examples
Stuart Boersma, Central Washington University
Perhaps the first skill needed for successful quantitative reasoning is the ability to understand a single number. Newspaper headlines over the last year have used some amazingly large figures when discussing the ...
How Big is Your Breakfast Footprint? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Ben Galluzzo, Shippensburg University
Calculation of a carbon footprint resulting from common breakfast choices illustrates the importance of contextualization.
Choosing Between Home Appliances: Benefits to the Planet and Your Wallet part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Corri Taylor, Wellesley College
Students research various options for new appliances and make purchasing decisions based not merely on purchase price, but also on energy efficiency, which has implications for the planet AND for longer-term personal finances. Students calculate the "payback period" for the more energy efficient appliance and calculate long-term savings.
Economics of installing Solar PV panels: is it worth it to the individual? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
We show that it is economical for an individual to install solar photovoltaic panels in Denver, Colorado; and this is a sustainable strategy for society at large.
Energy Cost of Engine Idling part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
This is an open-ended but elementary modeling exercise about idling energy behaviors and impacts.
Simple Population Space Usage part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Students find current values for world and US populations, the area of Texas, and the size of the average house in the USA. Students then look at ratios to assess land usage.
Water conservation part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Small amounts of water in one home dripping from a faucet can add up to huge monetary and resource losses
Arctic Sea Ice Extent part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Student teams investigate Arctic Sea Ice by analyzing actual data and making predictions. A worthwhile extension is to predict the first year that the Arctic Ocean will be ice free.