SISL > 2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop > Activities

Sustainability in Math Activities


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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.

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.

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.

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.

Should I Unplug? part of Activities
Lori Carmack, Salisbury University
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Biking vs Driving part of Activities
Deirdre Smeltzer, Eastern Mennonite University
How much difference would biking to work one day per week make?

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 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?

The True Cost of Eggs: Commercial vs. Local part of Activities
Caira Bongers

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.

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