Lessons in Units

CCSS UnitsHow do cell phone towers identify your location? Students describe geometrically the location information provided by a cell phone tower, explain why loci from at least three towers are required to pinpoint a customer's location, and consider the tradeoff between coverage and "locatability" when a phone company chooses a new tower location.

In basketball, should you ever foul at the buzzer? Students use probabilities to determine when the defense should foul...and when they should *not*.

How do aspect ratios affect what you see on TV? Students use ratios to explore why the image doesn't always fit on the screen, and examine how letterboxing might affect their favorite movies.

What is the chance that PRISM ensnares an innocent person? Students use conditional probabilities to examine some of the implications of a program like PRISM. Specifically, if someone has been identified as a threat, whatâ€™s the probability that person actually *is* a threat?

How symmetrical are faces? Students apply their understanding of line reflections to develop a metric for facial symmetry.

How hard should you exercise? Students write and graph an equation for maximum heart rate in terms of age, and then calculate ideal heart rate zones for different types of workouts.

How much should you spend to get all the toys? Students use probability and expected value to figure out how many Happy Meals they should plan on buying if they want to collect all the toys in a series.

What is the likelihood of winning at craps? Students learn the rules of the popular casino game, and use probabilities to determine how likely players are to win big (or go broke).

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.

Are Papa John's specialty pizzas a good deal? Students evaluate expressions to compare the prices of specialty vs. build-your-own pizzas, and determine how much they're saving...or losing!

What size ice cubes should you put in your drink? Students use surface area, volume, and rates to explore the relationship between the size of ice cubes and how good they are at doing their job: chilling.

Which movie rental service should you choose? Students develop a system of linear equations to compare Redbox, AppleTV, and Netflix, and determine which is the best plan for them.

How many ancestors do you have as you go back in time? Students use exponential growth to see how many people they're related to throughout human history.

How much should you pay for a shared wireless plan? Students use proportional reasoning to predict whether a family will go over their minutes, messages, or megabytes, and decide how much each person should pay.

Did UC Berkeley discriminate against women? Students use frequency tables, conditional probability, and Simpson's Paradox to explore the (un?)fairness of college admissions.