Sustainability in Math Activities
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Population Growth, Ecological Footprints, and Overshoot part of Activities
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.
How Big is Your Breakfast Footprint? part of Activities
Ben Galluzzo, Shippensburg University
Calculation of a carbon footprint resulting from common breakfast choices illustrates the importance of contextualization.
Economics of installing Solar PV panels: is it worth it to the individual? part of 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.
Replacing Household Appliances: Refrigerator part of Activities
Krys Stave, University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV)
In this problem, students compare the energy use of their existing refrigerator with a new refrigerator.
Energy Cost of Engine Idling part of Activities
This is an open-ended but elementary modeling exercise about idling energy behaviors and impacts.
How much energy do you save by doubling insulation? part of Activities
Students will be provided the governing equation for steady state heat transfer across a surface. They will use that equation to explore the effect of changing the insulation value on the amount of energy used.
Simple Population Space Usage part of 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 Activities
Small amounts of water in one home dripping from a faucet can add up to huge monetary and resource losses
The True Cost of Eggs: Commercial vs. Local part of Activities
The Costs of Your Commute: Your Money, Your Time, and the Earth part of Activities
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.
Shift in life expectancy part of Activities
Determining the shift in expected life span over a century and the social and environmental impact
One day it is too hot and other days it is too cold. Do we need to replace the HVAC system? part of Activities
This project will allow students to create a mathematical model to help in making decision about replacing HVAC units on a large scale.
A Monarchy Deposed: The Demise of the Monarch Butterfly part of Activities
Monarch butterflies (scientific name: Danaus plexippus) migrate annually to forests in central Mexico from Canada and California. Those surviving the 1200 - 2800 mile migration overwinter in Mexico. In this activity, students will learn about the conservation biology of monarch butterflies, threats to their survival, the implications of their potential extinction, and ways to protect the species.