Sustainability in Math Activities
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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.
Energy Cost of Engine Idling part of Activities
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
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.
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
Arctic Sea Ice Extent part of 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.
Should I Unplug? part of Activities
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The True Cost of Eggs: Commercial vs. Local part of Activities
How should I shower? part of Activities
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
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.
Modeling: (1) Revenue Neutral Carbon Taxes; (2) Accelerated atmospheric C02 concentrations part of Activities
Design a revenue neutral carbon tax and a plan for implementation; together with a model for what happens if we do not institute such a tax-system.
Who Goes There? Estimating Ocean Populations in Chincoteague Bay part of Activities
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.