Christy Steffen Leave the Chalk Behind

When is a hybrid vehicle the right one to buy?

According to Mr. Wiese (from our Skype), hybrid vehicles are selling fast. But, are they always the “right” buy? Mr. Wiese explained that buying a vehicle is always a personal choice but I, as a math-minded person, wanted to know the numbers. Since my students are reviewing systems of linear equations, I attempted my first full scale project based learning assignment. I am very excited about the results and have already tweaked it for next year, to make it even better.

The task was to pick two similar vehicles to compare hybrid vs. non-hybrid. The students then created two equations to compare the total costs for gas and the price of the vehicle. My students each chose a vehicle of their desire. There was a wide range, as you will see by the websites created. Even though they were told they could choose any multimedia tool, they all chose to create a Weebly website. Only one student had used Weebly previously.

Please understand, there are more factors than the ones I chose for my students to compare. With that in mind, my class and I were shocked that many hybrids are priced so high that it would be near impossible to save enough money on gas to make it worth it. Typically the cars were more economical than SUV’s.

I am very proud of my Math Lab students and their first attempt (with me) at a project based assignment. The discussion after presentations showed me they have a deeper understanding of linear equations and how they can be used in real life situations. If you would like more information on the project, message me and I will share the documents with you.

Technology used:

Google Docs- I created a formula in a spreadsheet to calculate the amount spent on gas in a year. I also created a form for the students to evaluate each project.

Rubistar- I created a rubric to assess the projects.

Moodle- All documents were posted on the Math Lab page.

Weebly- I created an example web page and all students chose to create web pages using this.

Prezi- I created an example presentation. The students used this to graph the equations.

Khan Academy- The students had to solve systems by substitution and this site provided additional practice.

Desktop Computers & iPad 2’s- The students chose to do most of their research and web creation on the desktops. They used their iPads for calculations, Moodle, and Google forms.

Below are the website the students created. Two students were absent, check back in a couple weeks (we have spring break next week) and I will have theirs posted. I did not edit these and there are some mistakes.

Ford Escape

Ford Fusion

Mercedes Sedan

Chevy Tahoe


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