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Sustainability in Math Activities


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Population Growth, Ecological Footprints, and Overshoot part of Activities
Rikki Wagstrom, Metropolitan State University
In this activity, students develop and apply linear, exponential, and rational functions to explore past and projected U.S. population growth, carbon footprint trend, ecological overshoot, and effectiveness of hypothetical carbon dioxide reduction initiatives.

Plastic Waste Production part of Activities
Karen Bliss
In this exercise, students will use data to predict the amount of plastic waste in the next ten years.

Control Chart Project part of Activities
Owen Byer, Eastern Mennonite University
This is a short assignment that asks students to find some data related to sustainability and determine whether the mean of that data set is statistically stable, and whether the process being measured is in control or out of control. It is often used for quality control in a production process, but in this activity, it is used to see if an ecosystem process is stable and healthy or disrupted (out of control.)

Teaching Mathematics as Though Our Survival Mattered part of Activities
Martin Walker
Mathematics plays a pivotal role in helping us understand "the current human condition." This attached article provides multiple examples and is useful as a supplemental reading. A variety of math problems could also be extracted for course use.

Predicting Next Year's Population part of Activities
Bill Bauldry, Appalachian State University
Students use current population factors to predict the next five years' population for a chosen country.

The True Cost of Energy part of Activities
Daniel Flath, Macalester College
How much would it add to the cost of burning a light bulb for a year if you pay for damage to the environment, climate effects, and health harms created by using coal to generate the electrical energy?

Simple Population Space Usage part of Activities
Bill Bauldry, Appalachian State University
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 Activities
Holly Partridge
Small amounts of water in one home dripping from a faucet can add up to huge monetary and resource losses

Problems for Calculus and Precalculus part of Activities
Deb Hughes Hallett, The University of Arizona
Problems on Energy and Climate for Students in Calculus I and II

Should I Unplug? part of Activities
Lori Carmack
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The True Cost of Eggs: Commercial vs. Local part of Activities
Caira Bongers

How should I shower? part of Activities
Margaret Sullivan
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?

One day it is too hot and other days it is too cold. Do we need to replace the HVAC system? part of Activities
Monika Kiss
This project will allow students to create a mathematical model to help in making decision about replacing HVAC units on a large scale.

Biking vs Driving part of Activities
Deirdre Smeltzer, Eastern Mennonite University
How much difference would biking to work one day per week make?

How Biodiverse is Lake Superior? An exercise in proportions. part of Activities
Stephanie Kajpust
Students use critical thinking and algebra to measure and evaluate the biodiversity in Lake Superior.

Salt Marshes: estimation techniques using basic algebra and geometry part of Activities
Yelena Meadows, Upper Iowa University; Sharareh Nikbakht, Appalachian State University
The activity allows for learning about salt marshes ecosystem and practicing of basic math in estimations.

Trawl Data Exploration in Multivariable Calculus part of Activities
Kris Green, Saint John Fisher College
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.

Fitting and Estimating Rates of Change in the Functions Underlying Earth's Bio-Development Over Time part of Activities
Alan Ableson; Jennifer Bready
What is happening in our world? How has the temperature changed? Have oxygen and carbon dioxide levels changed? How does this effect biodiversity? In this lab, we will investigate the changes in these four variables over various time periods to see how they relate.

Estimating OUR Carbon Footprint part of Activities
Ben Galluzzo, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; Jean McGivney-Burelle; Rikki Wagstrom, Metropolitan State University
Description here.

Shift in life expectancy part of Activities
Holly Partridge
Determining the shift in expected life span over a century and the social and environmental impact

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