How dangerous are heat and humidity? A hot day can feel uncomfortable. But if there’s enough humidity in the air, a hot day can be deadly. The head index describes the "feels like" temperature that combines air temperature and humidity.

In this lesson, students use polynomial functions to explore the heat index and discuss the life-and-death consequences that cities around the world will face in the coming years.

Students will

  • Evaluate and simplify polynomial expressions
  • Graph and compare quadratic equations, and interpret those graphs in a real-world context

Before you begin

Although students will evaluate and graph a messy-looking polynomial function, they can apply what they know about evaluating simpler expressions. Students do not prior experience with polynomial functions.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices