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Sustainability in Math Activities


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Predicting Next Year's Population part of Activities
Bill Bauldry
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
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?

Bakken Oil From Shale, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Global Oil Economics part of Activities
Robert McConnell
Students work with oil production data to assess the environmental impact, and economic controls, of oil production and consumption.

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

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.

Economics of installing Solar PV panels: is it worth it to the individual? part of Activities
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.

Replacing Household Appliances: Refrigerator part of Activities
Krys Stave, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
In this problem, students compare the energy use of their existing refrigerator with a new refrigerator.

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.

Energy Cost of Engine Idling part of Activities
Ben Fusaro, Florida State University
This is an open-ended but elementary modeling exercise about idling energy behaviors and impacts.

What's for Dinner? Analyzing Historical Data about the American Diet part of Activities
Jessica Libertini, Johns Hopkins University
In this activity, students research the historical food consumption data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to observe trends, develop regressions, predict future behavior, and discuss broader impacts.

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

Solar panel statistical tests part of Activities
Owen Byer, Eastern Mennonite University
In this activity, students will determine whether there is a statistically significant difference in the number of watts of power produced on individual solar panels at Bryn Mawr College.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent part of Activities
Bill Bauldry, Appalachian State University
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.

The Costs of Your Commute: Your Money, Your Time, and the Earth part of Activities
Charlie Buehrle, Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
This activity has students investigate their own cost, CO2 output, and time for commuting. They then compare their commute to an environmentally conscious alternative by using comparable metrics.

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.

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