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#1 2015-08-28 09:17:15

bossk171
Member
Registered: 2007-07-16
Posts: 303

Algebra Research Projects

I am teaching an Algebra I course in a community college. Many of these students are non-traditional, returning students (i.e. haven't been in a math class in 20+ years), or students that didn't take high school terribly seriously.

I would like to assign a research project in order to make them have a better understanding of how they might be able to apply math in their everyday lives. I'd like to give them examples of possible projects. Some that I've thought of are:

  • Calculate the gas millage of three different vehicles. Look up the claimed millage and attempt to explain any discrepancies you find.

  • Use special triangles to find the height of three different trees or buildings.

  • Estimate how many books are in the NHTI library. There are a variety of techniques for estimation, try to use at least three.

  • Choose an item that is available at at least five stores, and determine which is the cheapest. Be sure to factor in the cost of travel.

  • Often times when you order a package online, you have the opportunity to track it through the delivery company's website. Calculate the speed your package is moving at any time and try to determine what kind of vehicle is delivering it. Contact the delivery company to determine if you were correct.

  • Graph the relationship between the height and weight of at least 10 people. Try to find a ``line of best fit" and see if you can predict the weight of someone with your model.

I would love to hear ideas on possible research projects. The more the merrier!

The subjects covered in this class are:

  • Exponents, Roots, Powers of Ten

  • Order of Operations and Problem Solving

  • Multiples and Factors

  • Equivalent Fractions and Mixed Numbers

  • Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying, and Dividing Fractions and Mixed Numbers

  • Percent and Number Equivalents

  • Percentage Problems

  • Percent Increase and Decrease

  • Adding Signed Numbers

  • Subtracting Signed Numbers

  • Multiplying and Dividing Signed Numbers

  • Signed Rational Numbers

  • Powers of Ten

  • Scientific Notation

  • Variable Notation

  • Solving Linear Equations (with or without fractions and decimals)

  • Inequalities and Sets

  • Solving Linear and Compound Inequalities

  • Formulas

  • Proportions

  • Graphical Representation of Linear Equations and Functions

  • Graphing Linear Equations

  • Slope

  • Linear Equation of a Line

  • Laws of Exponents

  • Polynomials

  • Basic Operations with Polynomials

  • Lines and Angles

  • Polygons

  • Circles

  • Volume and Surface Area

  • Special Triangle Relationships

  • Pythagorean Theorem


There are 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary, those who don't, and those who can use induction.

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#2 2015-08-28 14:19:20

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 108,518

Re: Algebra Research Projects

Hi;

Those are nice ideas, you are correct in trying to get them to answer the first question everyone has...what is this good for? Once that is out of the way, progress is possible.


In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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#3 2015-08-28 18:09:57

bossk171
Member
Registered: 2007-07-16
Posts: 303

Re: Algebra Research Projects

Thanks bobbym. My students will also be responsible for a biography of a famous mathematician and a written response to a Numberphile video.

If you have any ideas about possible research questions, I'd love to hear them!


There are 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary, those who don't, and those who can use induction.

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#4 2015-10-02 17:46:02

bobbym
bumpkin
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 108,518

Re: Algebra Research Projects

Hi;

It has been a while now, how did everything go? Looked at Numberphile page, it looks pretty good.


In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.
Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.

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