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Sustainability Efforts on Our Campus: A Mathematical Analysis
In these open-ended but simple activities, students use basic mathematics and descriptive statistics to analyze campus sustainability efforts.
Learning Sustainability with Sim City
Sim City is a computer game that has the player design a city. They become the mayor. While designing the city from ground, they can choose sustainaiblity energy options such as wind farms, geothermal, and solar. The game includes greening options and pollution factors. Teachers in a variety of disciplines can utilize this to bring their core course concepts to life.
Sustainability and Changing Rates of Change
Christopher Coughenour, The Evergreen State College
To understand sustainability, students must understand rates of change. This activity includes a primer on basic rates concepts and an exercise that motivates critical thinking about rates of change and sustainability with an analysis of historical petroleum production rates data from the United States and the world.
Developing a Transportation Survey to Estimate Gasoline Use by Campus Commuters
Steven Bogart, Shoreline Community College
Through this activity, students in a liberal arts mathematics class will develop experience with real-world statistical concepts through the context of sustainability: estimation, survey writing, sampling techniques, and data analysis.
Trawl Data Exploration in Multivariable Calculus
This activity is based on exploring the data collected from all trawls around the Chincoteague Bay from 2005 - 2014. Students can construct their own contour diagrams as they cross section the data based on their own choices. This database could also be used to support similar activities in statistics or graph theory.
How should I shower?
In this activity, students will investigate the questions: What are the benefits/costs of 3 varieties of shower head types: standard, low flow, massage spray? Which would be best for a homeowner? For the university dorms?
How Many Plants Make a Future? The Carbon Dioxide Challenge
Rus Higley, Highline Community College Marine Science and Technology Center, Vanessa Hunt and Timothy Sorey, Central Washington University
This activity focuses on the role of photosynthesis in a sustainable future. Students explore the effect of photosynthesis and respiration in a 'closed systems' containing plankton, marine plants, and fish. By calculating carbon dioxide uptake and production in these systems, they predict a plant: animal ratio sufficient to maintain a system in carbon dioxide 'balance' for one hour.
Who Goes There? Estimating Ocean Populations in Chincoteague Bay
Maria Hernandez; Itnuit Janovitz-Freireich
In this activity students use data to: rank species on the food chain, compute energy flow ratios and estimate fish populations in the Chincoteague Bay. Students also discuss the impact of the ecosystem and humans on this population, with an extension activity calculating the biodiversity of the system.
Economics of installing Solar PV panels: is it worth it to the individual?
Martin Walter, University of Colorado at Boulder
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.
One day it is too hot and other days it is too cold. Do we need to replace the HVAC system?
This project will allow students to create a mathematical model to help in making decision about replacing HVAC units on a large scale.