SISL > 2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop > Activities > How Biodiverse is Lake Superior? An exercise in proportions.

How Biodiverse is Lake Superior? An exercise in proportions.

This project authored by Stephanie Kajpust, Finlandia University based on the 2014 MAA Prep Workshop USE Math at the Beach.
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Summary

This activity is meant as an exercise in critical thinking, as well as practice in percents, proportions, and probabilities.

Students should have to do research to gather some information, then use their math skills to perform calculations on the data. Finally, critical thinking skills should be used to evaluate their answers.

Learning Goals

The goal here is for students to understand what it means to have biological diversity. Hopefully they should wonder if the current diversity in Lake Superior is sufficient, and question how it could change in the future due to our activities in the lake.

  • 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

Higher Order Thinking Skills:
critical thinking, data analysis, synthesis of ideas, model development

Context for Use

This is geared towards any class where students have solved proportions and percents. Probabilities can be useful but is not required. Students should be able to calculate rates as well, and understand area and volume.

Ideally this would be a project, as some research is required and students may struggle initially to come up with a way to evaluate biodiversity.

Description and Teaching Materials

Attached is the project description in pdf form, along with suggested solutions and a teacher guide discussing the project possibilities.

The project consists of writing a report answering some specific questions which require doing some research and calculations.

Project Description for Students (Acrobat (PDF) 33kB Jun16 14)
Project Description with Sample Answers (Acrobat (PDF) 67kB Jun16 14)
Teacher's Guide (Acrobat (PDF) 80kB Jun16 14)

Teaching Notes and Tips

To be filled in after first test run of activity

Assessment

To be filled in after first test run of activity

References and Resources

To be filled in after first test run of activity