# Sustainability in Math Activities

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showing only*Quantitative Reasoning*Show all Appropriate Math Course Level

# Appropriate Math Course Level Show all Appropriate Math Course Level

## Quantitative Reasoning

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Population Growth, Ecological Footprints, and Overshoot part of Activities

Rikki Wagstrom

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.

Choosing Between Home Appliances: Benefits to the Planet and Your Wallet part of Activities

Corri Taylor, Wellesley College

Students research various options for new appliances and make purchasing decisions based not merely on purchase price, but also on energy efficiency, which has implications for the planet AND for longer-term personal finances. Students calculate the "payback period" for the more energy efficient appliance and calculate long-term savings.

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

Martin Walter

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

Ben Fusaro

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

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

Joseph Skufca

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

Bill Bauldry

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.

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.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent part of Activities

Bill Bauldry

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 True Cost of Eggs: Commercial vs. Local part of Activities

Caira Bongers

The Costs of Your Commute: Your Money, Your Time, and the Earth part of Activities

Charlie Buehrle

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.

A Monarchy Deposed: The Demise of the Monarch Butterfly part of Activities

Daniel Abel

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

Martin Walter

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.

Biking vs Driving part of Activities

Deirdre Smeltzer

How much difference would biking to work one day per week make?

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.

Salt Marshes: estimation techniques using basic algebra and geometry part of Activities

Yelena Meadows; Sharareh Nikbakht

The activity allows for learning about salt marshes ecosystem and practicing of basic math in estimations.

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.

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.