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Introduction
Can a cricket be used as a thermometer? In fact yes, crickets vary the
number of chirps they produce with the temperature. If I give you a linear
equation to use and a cricket, you can then tell me the temperature. This
is one way you could use an Algebra equation in real life. We will use
information from real life situations and we will write linear equations
to fit those real life situations.
TheTask
We have studied solving and graphing linear equations. We have also studied the slopeintercept form of a line. Now we will visit the Internet and see how linear equations come up in real life.
You will work in groups. Your group will chose a real life situation to investigate. Some of you will compute the number of calories that you will burn dancing or golfing or running. Some of you will investigate car prices, maybe the cost of a TransAm or a Corvette. Others will investigate scores in the NBA or WNBA.
You will gather data, write an equation, draw a graph and collaborate to draw conclusions based on analysis of your data. You will also send email to Dr. Math. All to see how linear equations are part of our daily life.
The Process
1.Get into your assigned group.
2.Choose a real life situation from those listed here:
Burning Calories
Buying Cars
Basketball Statisitics
3.Ask your teacher for the worksheet
pertaining to the real life situation that your group has chosen to investigate.
Each
member of your group
will need a copy of the worksheet.
 Burning Calories worksheet
 Buying Cars worksheet
 Basketball Statisitics worksheet
to complete parts of the worksheet individually and parts of it with the other students in your group. You may certainly
ask each other for help as needed.
6.Each group needs to email one
question to Dr. Math about a real life situation. (Your question needs
to be approved
by your teacher before
it is mailed. You need to have your teacher's signature by this item on
your worksheet.) Click
on the following site
when you have your question ready and approved, scroll down to the email
box and send your
email. You'll need
to get your school's email address from your teacher.
Write to Dr. Math
7.Each student will need to give
an oral report in class describing one way they could use this information
in their daily
life.
The Evaluation
Your project will be evaluated on the following
criteria:
 each student needs to turn in a completed worksheet (Be sure your teacher's signature is on your worksheet by question 8.)
 each student needs to turn in one line graphed on graph paper (Be sure your graph is well labeled)
 each group needs to turn in a print out of Dr. Math's response to your question (In order to do this, you'll need to check Dr. Math's site later in the week for his answer to your question.)
 each student needs to have given a short oral report about how they could use this information in their daily life each student should be able to answer questions on a quiz showing that they can write an equation based on given data
Conclusion
You may still be wondering about those chirping
crickets! If you would like to investigate with a cricket in your backyard,
here is an equation I found which will approximate
that situation: y = 0.20x + 6 where x represents the number of chirps in
a
minute and y represents the temperature in degrees
Celsius.
I hope you had fun investigating these real life
situations. Many people in many careers write equations and use them to
predict situations and to set their sales prices.
Now, you have seen how linear equations are part of your daily life.
Teacher Resources
A teacher who uses this site will need to print
out the worksheets listed below and have multiple copies of these worksheets
photocopied. You will need to either provide
the students with graph paper or tell the students to bring their own graph
paper. And, you will need to provide the students
with your school's email address.
 Burning Calories worksheet
 Buying Cars worksheet
 Basketball Statisitics worksheet
Here are some additional sites to use with
your students for further investigations:
Special thanks to Jane M. Brown