Sustainability Efforts on Our Campus: A Mathematical Analysis
Three open-ended activities are briefly presented. In the activities, students use basic computational skills and elementary descriptive statistics to collect, analyze, and summarize data related to campus sustainability efforts. In doing so, students creatively apply mathematics to a practical situation and learn more about campus sustainability efforts.
- The main goal of these projects is to increase student awareness of campus sustainability efforts.
- Prepares students to build effective coalitions
- Engages students in civil discourse/ communications that lead to more effective decisions
- It advances student literacy around sustainability issues.
- Encourages self-reflection and personal development of their voice for solving societal challenges
- Promote creative visioning around sustainable futures
- These activities develop data analysis and quantitative reasoning skills.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
In particular, students are first asked to collect campus specific data on water bottle filling stations, recycling efforts, or greenhouse gas emissions. Students are directed to the campus website as a starting point, but are encouraged to contact campus employees for more information and to collect accurate and up-to-date data.
Students then use basic computational mathematics to describe and creatively analyze the data. They are encouraged to compute proportions, percentages, and probabilities, to make estimations and approximations, to perform unit conversions, and to draw comparisons. They are also expected to visually display the data in various ways.
Students are also expected to give a formal presentation to the class summarizing the particular campus sustainability effort and their computations.
Water Bottle Filling Stations Project (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 15kB Jul13 15)
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Project (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 15kB Jul13 15)Recycling Program Project (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 15kB Jul13 15)