Submitted by: Cassie Stanley
School: Varina High School
Students will be concentrating on the mathematical concept of scatter plots while investigating the weight of a vehicle and its effect on fuel consumption. Students will be gathering the following data using an Internet search engine Google or Yahoo: weight, average mile per gallon, and fuel type required of five different vehicles. This data will be used to construct a scatter plot, develop a prediction equation, and make predictions based on the equation. Students will use the scatter plot to answer questions and draw conclusions. Students will then choose a destination and calculate the cost of a trip using the five different vehicles. Using Google Earth or Map quest students will find the mileage to their chosen destination. Based upon the data collected using fuel type and mileage students will calculate the estimated fuel cost for making the trip to their destination. Students will then answer questions relating to this information. Students will complete the activity by summarizing their project.
Approaching – Students research current data that they will apply to their real world problem of scatter plots and vehicle choice. While using an Internet search engines Google or Yahoo students will gather information on vehicles which will include weight in tons, miles per gallon on the highway, and fuel type for each vehicle. This data will allow students to create a unique scatter plot for their data. Students will evaluate the data and graph by answering questions provided. Students will then apply this information by calculating trip and fuel cost of a chosen destination using Google Earth of MapQuest. Students will choose the most appropriate vehicle based on this data to take on the trip.
Entry – Students will be working within the classroom to gather information needed to graph their own scatter plot based on the vehicle information researched. Students will be working alone, however they may get peer / teacher instruction to help with the project. After the project is completed there will be a class discussion of scatter plots using the specified essential questions provided above. During this discussion the class will discuss what was learned while doing the activity. Students will answer the essential questions provided at the beginning of this lesson plan. Any confusion with the activity or problems encountered can be discussed here as well. The lesson could be extended if time permits to have students create a presentation using PowerPoint or Active Inspire to present to the class. The lesson could also be extended to have students use a discussion board on SchoolSpace discussing the vehicle they chose and why. Students could also discuss what they learned during the activity and what other useful topics scatterplots would be useful for.
Developing – Students will be answering questions based upon the data collected from their scatter plots and prediction equation. The format of the activity is laid out for the students but this just acts as a template for students. Students are not directed on every step or thought process to take with this activity. Students will be justifying decisions based upon data they collect. Students have been provided with questions to answer, but they must complete the activity and critically think through the data collected to answer the questions provided and to be able to justify their solutions. Students are creating a unique scatter plot because each student will have chosen different vehicles and are forced to analyze the data they collected. Therefore student answers will be unique. Students will be responsible for choosing their own format for the graphing of the scatter plot (x- and y-coordinates and values chosen for the graph.
Approaching – Students have taken a real world problem dealing with scatter plots and vehicles and are required to make predictions based on the data collected. Students are collecting data based on their vehicle choice and their unique data will lead to their own graphical representation of the vehicles they may like to own in the future. Students analyze their unique data shown in their scatter plot to determine if trends in the data exist and predict trends for future reference. Students are asked in their packet to list other ways scatter plots can be used in the real world. Students are not just completing repetitive math work, but can take the skills learned in the activity and eventually use it in their own lives.