Free Flights?

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This can't be right!  If my flight cost $200 and I stayed for 10 days it would be free.  Right?  You can kick off this activity by asking students to think about where in the world they would love to travel to.  Kids can then look up flights to that destination from their area airport.  Don't have students use the promo code, just have them work out the discount by hand assuming it is $20 off per day of travel.  You might have students organize their work (or you can help them see a more organized version of their thinking) where through repeated reasoning (MP7) they notice the cost of the flight - 20 x number of days = final cost.  Are there different rules to represent this situation?  What do our variables represent in the context of this situation?  

New Horizons spacecraft observes Pluto

The New Horizon space probe was launched from Cape Canaveral on January 19, 2006. It has now come close to Pluto and has sent its first close-up images back to Earth.

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The spread of Lyme disease

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With the start of summer and wonderful outdoor activities, it might be good to examine the growth of Lyme disease occurrences in the United States.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  has a wonderful map that you can use to show where Lyme was in 2001, 2002, etcetera through 2013.  For the math part you can study the rate of growth numerically and graphically.  So this math activity might encourage you to be careful and stay healthy.

Jock tax

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Great professional athletes make a lot of money. In November slugger Giancarlo Stanton signed a thirteen year contract for over $325 million with the Miami Marlins!  Did you know that professional athletes have to pay an amazing amount of federal, state, and sometimes even city tax?
Since Stanton plays in Florida he pays the State of Florida at their state tax rate of 0%. So, over the next five years Stanton will pay no taxes to the state.  The state tax rates in Washington, Florida and Texas are 0%.  Basketball star DeAndre Jordan made news when he walked away from a verbal agreement with the Dallas Mavericks for $80 million over 4 years to return to the L.A. Clippers for $88 million over 4 years.  Considering California has a state tax rate of 13.3% and Texas has a 0% state tax rate which deal would have made him more money after state taxes?  

Can you create a fireworks display on your calculator?

Let your students experiment with their graphing calculators to create a nice 4th of July display?  We've written a brief activity that questions students about manipulating parabolas, adjusting their calculator windows, and helping them celebrate the Fourth. Or consider using Desmos or Geogebra to create these fireworks. Enjoy!