SISL > 2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop > Activities > Predicting Next Year's Population

Predicting Next Year's Population

Summary

This project has students use current population factors to predict the next five years' population for a chosen country from the CIA's "World Factbook."

Learning Goals

• Incorporate population change data into a single, simple form
• Use a model to predict population
• Analyze the effects of growing/declining populations

Context for Use

This activity can be used in any course that discusses exponential functions.

Description and Teaching Materials

This project has students use current population factors to build an exponential growth model $$p(t)=p_0 e^{\alpha t}$$. Students then predict the next five years' population for a country chosen from the CIA's "World Factbook." Predicting Next Year's Population (Acrobat (PDF) 14kB Mar17 13)

Teaching Notes and Tips

• Students will have previously seen simple exponential growth models
• Students must combine birth, death, and migration rates into a single growth factor
• A group project that can be done in 1/2 hour

Assessment

• Assess the model for appropriate incorporation of the data
• Assess the writing on resource utilization for evidence of critical thinking

References and Resources

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