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Students analyze the characteristics of sustainably designed items. In a real-world application exercise, students calculate the surface area and volume of a prism and a cylinder in order to connect geometric properties to sustainable design principles. A closing discussion raises questions about the applicability of sustainable design to different situations, as well as its social and economic impacts.

Snow leopards are an endangered species of wildcat that are native to the mountains of central Asia. Students compare the sizes of different habitats snow leopards live in around the world and practice transforming a trapezoid on a coordinate plane. They reflect on what makes this species endangered, characteristics of a proper habitat, and different ways of helping endangered species to survive.

Students reflect on ways in which they use energy for everyday activities and the fuels used to power those activities. Students use geometric and trigonometric formulas to calculate unknown angles and side lengths of a triangle formed by a solar panel that is tilted to optimize incoming solar radiation. Implications of utilizing renewable energy sources, including solar power, are considered in light of climate change and energy security.

Students create connections between individual actions and climate change. They work with algebraic inequalities to consider how many and what types of activities can be performed while staying within a limited carbon budget.

Students compare life expectancy among several countries and discuss possible explanations for observed differences. Life expectancy is correlated with other statistics for multiple countries. During a class discussion, students analyze the usefulness of life expectancy as an indicator of a country’s well-being.

Students begin by analyzing information from a credit card offer. They then work through calculations to analyze financial choices made by two young people. The activity connects to national budgeting and debt by investigating the revenues and expenditures of two countries.

Students evaluate their personal consumption choices and the factors that influence those choices. Utilizing information in a table, students create an algebraic equation to compare embodied energy in cups made of different materials. After reviewing information related to the environmental impacts and the costs of a number of different cups, students must choose which cup to purchase.

Students examine information compiled by the Youth Violence Project to explore recent trends in violence among youth. Students create a variety of graphs to represent various statistics related to conflict among youth. They then reflect on possible root causes of the observed trends.

Students examine how choices in daily activities and nutrition affect individual well-being and sustainability. They consider how caloric intake relates to calories burned. They read nutrition labels, review recommended daily allowances, and solve algebraic equations to determine healthy eating habits.

Students examine growing and declining populations and predict future population growth based on current population growth rates. Integers are plotted on a coordinate plane to examine the pattern of population decline in Japan. Students discuss the consequences of different patterns of population growth.