Which is the best deal on candy?

135 pieces for $14.99
90 pieces for $6.99
95 pieces for $9.99
50 pieces for $6.99
150 pieces for $14.24

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We found big mixed bags of candy at really good prices … we think.  

Students are asked to decide which would be the best deal and the worst deal on candy.  They can also create their own mixed bags.  This activity has unit pricing, philosophy of candy collecting, and Excel if you would like to use technology.

Giant pumpkins and pie


Let your students marvel at World Record winning giant pumpkins as they use proportions to calculate the quantities of pumpkin puree and the number of pumpkin pies that could be made from one of these giants.  To introduce the task you might show this cool time lapse video of a giant pumpkin from planting to harvest.

Macy’s Star Rewards Points

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Wow! Check out this deal at Macy’s.  For $25 I can join Macy’s Star Rewards program.  I get 10% back in rewards for every dollar I spend.  Its pretty cool that Macy’s gives part of that $25 to charity.  Should you do it?  It seems like free money (or clothes) just for shopping at Macy’s.  Factoring in the $25 enrollment fee, how much do you need to spend at Macy’s to come out ahead? For what total shopping dollar amounts is this a bad deal for the consumer?  What dollar amount must you spend to at least break even?  Can you write a rule that gives the dollars earned at Macy’s after the $25 registration fee for any dollar amount of purchases?

How large a TV should I get?

This is a great looking room, but do you see what is wrong with this picture?
small HDTV 2

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Whether you are in middle school or high school, someday you are going to be moving out and you might need to select the right size HDTV for your living space.  I found this guide that helps buyers pick the correct size HDTV for a living space.  Take a look at the table.  What questions do you have?  What do you notice?


Clicking on this image will show it larger.

In this activity students will select the appropriate size HDTV for various rooms.  They will need to read and use a scale, make measurements, possibly place furnishings and then correctly determine the right size and placement of the HDTV.

Students may also need to determine how long an HDTV is based off it size (HDTV size is determined by the diagonal screen length) if you choose to have them accurately sketch it into the room.

Thinking about Columbus

nina-picThe Niña

Can you imagine sailing off to the West, into empty looking ocean, to find what your captain believes is a good route to the Indian subcontinent?  This was a pretty risky navigational feat.  Luckily the ships experienced good weather on their trip to the Caribbean.

Use some of what we know now about navigation to examine this trek and do some reasoning and experimentation with the data.

MAVEN arrives at Mars

Recently the MAVEN spacecraft (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) that was launched on November  18, 2013 reached Mars and attained an elongated orbit around the planet.  How does someone figure out how to do that?