Sustainability in Math Activities


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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, Saint Leo University
This project will allow students to create a mathematical model to help in making decision about replacing HVAC units on a large scale.

What's for Dinner? Analyzing Historical Data about the American Diet part of Activities
Jessica Libertini, Johns Hopkins University
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.

A Monarchy Deposed: The Demise of the Monarch Butterfly part of Activities
Daniel Abel, Coastal Carolina University
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.

Population Growth, Ecological Footprints, and Overshoot part of Activities
Rikki Wagstrom, Metropolitan State University
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.

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

Arctic Sea Ice Extent part of Activities
Bill Bauldry, Appalachian State University
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.

Solar panel statistical tests part of Activities
Owen Byer, Eastern Mennonite University
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.

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.

Hybrid Vehicles: Are They Worth It? part of Activities
Lori Carmack, Salisbury University
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.

Estimating OUR Carbon Footprint part of Activities
Ben Galluzzo, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; Jean McGivney-Burelle, University of Hartford; Rikki Wagstrom, Metropolitan State University
Description here.

Salt Marshes: estimation techniques using basic algebra and geometry part of Activities
Yelena Meadows, Upper Iowa University; Sharareh Nikbakht, Appalachian State University
The activity allows for learning about salt marshes ecosystem and practicing of basic math in estimations.

ELIMINATING TRAYS IN THE CAFETERIA: BENEFITS TO THE PLANET AND TO ECONOMIC COSTS part of Activities
Dianne Marquart
In this activity, students will investigate the economic and environmental benefits of eliminating food trays in the cafeteria at their college.

How should I shower? part of Activities
Margaret Sullivan
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?

Should I Unplug? part of Activities
Lori Carmack, Salisbury University
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The Costs of Your Commute: Your Money, Your Time, and the Earth part of Activities
Charlie Buehrle, Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
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.

How Big is Your Breakfast Footprint? part of Activities
Ben Galluzzo, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Calculation of a carbon footprint resulting from common breakfast choices illustrates the importance of contextualization.

Plastic Waste Production part of Activities
Karen Bliss, Quinnipiac University
In this exercise, students will use data to predict the amount of plastic waste in the next ten years.

Trawl Data Exploration in Multivariable Calculus part of Activities
Kris Green, Saint John Fisher College
This activity is based on exploring the data collected from all trawls around the Chincoteague Bay from 2005 - 2014. Students can construct their own contour diagrams as they cross section the data based on their own choices. This database could also be used to support similar activities in statistics or graph theory.

Modeling: (1) Revenue Neutral Carbon Taxes; (2) Accelerated atmospheric C02 concentrations part of Activities
Martin Walter, University of Colorado at Boulder
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.

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