Lessons in Units

CCSS UnitsHow big is the White House? Students build scale models of the White House, compare scaling in one vs. two vs. three dimensions and design their ideal version of the president’s house.

How accurate should government surveillance be? Students calculate conditional probabilities to determine the likelihood of false-positives and false-negatives, and discuss the tradeoffs between safety and accuracy.

What time should school start in the morning? Students use periodic functions to compare the alertness levels of adults vs. teenagers over the course of the day and debate the merits of starting school later.

How is homelessness changing in the United States? Students write linear equations to describe how the number of people experiencing homelessness has changed in different cities and use their equations to predict how those populations will grow in the future.

How is wealth distributed in the United States? Students use measures of center, five-number summaries, and box plots to examine different distributions while digging into one of the most important economic and political issues facing any nation.

How many different shoes can you design on NIKEiD? Students use the Fundamental Counting Principle to calculate how many color combinations are possible for the popular Nike Air Force 1 shoe, and then they explore the "paralysis-by-analysis" that can come from too much choice.

How does the what we see affect our happiness? Students explore the concept of the jen ratio – the ratio of positive to negative observations in our daily lives – and use it to discuss how the content we consume and the things we observe influence our experience of the world.

Which size pizza is the best deal? Is it ever a good idea to buy the personal pan from Pizza Hut? Students use unit rates and percents, and the area of a circle to explore the math behind pizza bargains.

Should people with small feet pay less for shoes? Students use unit rates to calculate how much different-sized shoes cost per ounce and debate the fairest way for manufacturers to charge for their shoes.

How have video game console speeds changed over time? Students write an exponential function based on the Atari 2600 and Moore's Law, and see whether the model was correct for subsequent video game consoles.

How long does it take to donate to Locks of Love? In this lesson students write and solve equations to determine how long they'd need to grow out their hair to have enough to share with others.

Why hasn't everyone already died of a contagion? And, if vampires exist, shouldn't we all be sucking blood by now? Students model the exponential growth of a contagion and use logarithms and finite geometric series to determine the time needed for a disease to infect the entire population.

Why are so many Americans dying from opiate overdoses? Students use exponential decay and rational functions to understand why addicted patients seek more and stronger opioids to alleviate their pain.

How much Halloween candy should you eat? Students interpret graphs to compare the marginal enjoyment and total enjoyment of two siblings feasting on piles of Halloween candy and figure out how much pleasure you get (or don't) from eating more and more.

Do social networks like Facebook make us more connected? Students create a quadratic function to model the number of possible connections as a network grows, and consider the consequences of relying on Facebook for news and information.