SISL > 2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop > Activities > Simple Population Space Usage

Simple Population Space Usage

This page authored by Wm C Bauldry, Appalachian State University
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Summary

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.

* Critical thinking questions are needed.

Learning Goals

Students can look at building size and land use on their campus or in the region.


It advances students' literacy around sustainability issues.

Context for Use

This activity could be used in middle school, high school, developmental, "math for liberal arts", or early in precalculus.

If an internet connection is available, small groups can do this quickly in class.

Description and Teaching Materials

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. Population Space Usage (Acrobat (PDF) 52kB Mar16 13)




Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses the internet to find current population values. Simple ratios lead to critical thinking questions about space requirements and usage.

Assessment

- Assess the arithmetic ratios constructed.
- Assess the writing and critical thinking displayed in the student's analysis.

References and Resources

The US Census Bureau maintains online "Population Clocks" and US housing data.

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