Lessons in Units

CCSS UnitsWhy do certain pairs of notes sound better than others? Students use ratios and fraction division to explore what makes two notes sound good or bad when played together.

How far away from the TV should you sit? Students use right triangle trigonometry and a rational function to explore the percent of your visual field that is occupied by the area of a television.

How much does it cost to drive at different speeds? Students use unit rates and proportions to explore how a car's fuel economy changes as it drives faster and faster.

How much do you really pay when you use a credit card? Students develop an exponential growth model to determine how much an item really ends up costing when purchased on credit.

What does it mean for a playlist to be "random?" Students use probability to explore the idea of randomness, as well as the patterns that can emerge from random processes like shuffles.

In how many ways can you personalize a license plate? Students use the Fundamental Counting Principle to determine the total number of possible messages.

Why do concert tickets cost so much? Students use percents to describe how much of a ticket’s price goes to various parties -- artist, venue, brokers, etc. -- and debate the fairest ways to price and sell event tickets.

Do taller sprinters have an unfair advantage? Students use proportions to find out what would happen if Olympic races were organized by height.

How 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, what’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.

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).