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Sustainability in Math Activities


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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.

Solar panel statistical tests part of Activities
Owen Byer
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
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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Should I Unplug? part of Activities
Lori Carmack
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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.

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.

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.

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.

Hybrid Vehicles: Are They Worth It? part of Activities
Lori Carmack
In this project, students analyze the costs of gasoline nationwide. They also investigate the cost-effectiveness of purchasing a new hybrid vehicle as opposed to purchasing a new vehicle that runs solely on gasoline.

Sustainability Efforts on Our Campus: A Mathematical Analysis part of Activities
Lori Carmack
In these open-ended but simple activities, students use basic mathematics and descriptive statistics to analyze campus sustainability efforts.


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