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  • 1.  IMPACT in Action - Relevant Data to Engage Students

    Posted 03-14-2022 22:21:00
    I have found a higher level of student engagement in mathematics when recent data that is relevant to their lives is used. Please, share what data you have used, how it was used, and how you gauged the level of engagement of your students. I'm thinking of brief, big pictures here, not detailed, step-by-step classroom activities. Of course, you can also share appropriate activities in the myAMATYC Library!

    Nancy Rivers
    Wake Technical CC
    Raleigh NC

  • 2.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Relevant Data to Engage Students

    Posted 03-15-2022 22:58:00
    Great question Nancy!

    In general, I identify the level of engagement by the number of questions that students ask about the data set or the results.

    1.) This semester, I will use the number of students in attendance at our campus since 2012 by gender to determine whether there is a significant difference between the number of male and females students.
    2.) We have looked at the SAT scores for school districts in our state. We used this for linear regression on the verbal and mathematics scores.
    3.) We have used the data from one of the ASA's contests on temperatures in Atlanta to see if they have increased over time.
    4.) We looked at the salaries of faculty at our institution to see if their was a difference in the salaries of Assistant and Associate professors. (Names were removed, of course.)
    5.) We have looked at the grade distributions of faculty members and guess which faculty member we would prefer to take. (Names were removed, of course.)
    6.) We have had a project where students collected data on an item from Target and Walmart to see if there are price differences.
    7.) We have looked at stats on basketball players and analyzed certain characteristics at certain positions.
    8.) We have looked at the best and worst jobs list to see if there was any relationship between the amount of stress and the salary.
    9.) We analyze various types of graphs and tables such as the CDC growth charts for children, US Life tables, and the Social Security distributions by age.
    10.) We have looked at America's Top High Schools list and looked at the relationship between poverty level and college readiness. We also looked at the prevalence of states and their location in the country. ​

    Keisha Brown
    Associate Professor
    Georgia State University Perimeter College - Dunwoody
    Dunwoody GA

  • 3.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Relevant Data to Engage Students

    Posted 03-16-2022 08:39:00

    Thank you for the wonderful examples of real data sets used and the possible questions that can be posed. We certainly live in a data rich society. Facilitating our students' learning in the area of "data literacy" is so important!

    If I were still in the classroom, I believe I would find the following site helpful for data set exploration:

    Income and Poverty in the United States: 2020 remove preview
    Income and Poverty in the United States: 2020
    Introduction This report presents data on income, earnings, income inequality, and poverty in the United States based on information collected in the 2021 and earlier Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
    View this on >

    Thanks again, Keisha!


    Nancy Rivers
    Wake Technical CC
    Raleigh NC

  • 4.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Relevant Data to Engage Students

    Posted 03-17-2022 18:08:00
    The Site for Data Set Exploration supplied by Nancy Rivers and the list of very engaging questions for students to explore provided by Keisha Brown beautifully illustrate how mathematics can be realistically integrated with actual real-world topics to enhance students' understanding of so many other areas of education and life. For example factors affecting success in various sports; labor relations; gender, racial and ethnic equity; aspects of science research; global warming; and relating careers to health factors. It is hard to believe that there isn't something in this to excite even the most math-resistent student. Thanks to both of you.

    Marilyn Mays

    Marilyn Mays
    Executive Dean & Professor (Retired)
    Dallas College -North Lake Campus
    Irving, TX

  • 5.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Relevant Data to Engage Students

    Posted 03-22-2022 13:13:00
    I LOVE all of these ideas and also think that even simple examples that bring in the idea of quantitative reasoning gets students engaged. For anyone not teaching a data-based course (which leans towards primarily statistics), there are so many great examples of other smaller bits of data that can yield great discussions across any course. In NYC, the transit authority always gives me great lesson plans. They have just instituted a "if you travel 12 times, the rest of the week is free" but the 7-day pass is already $33 and the pay as you go is $2.75. So basically it's the same, but you get to just tap a credit card. The catch is, if you tap a different one at any time, that trip doesn't count towards the 12. It has to be on the same card or apple pay, so if you switch payment methods you end up paying more! Also, the count is for Monday through Sunday, so you can't start the count when you first go. So many catches to trip people up using math!!!! One of the advertisements even said "Let Us Do the Math" to which I thought, "No thank you!"

    Anders Jasson (AJ) Stachelek
    Associate Professor / Director of Assessment
    Hostos CC
    Bronx NY

  • 6.  RE: IMPACT in Action - Relevant Data to Engage Students

    Posted 04-11-2022 10:27:00
    Yes, this is a good one.
    Reminds me - at Disneyworld, they have daily rates, single day 2-park, 3-day any park, week long, annual passes and so on. Lots of options, difficult to calculate the optimum solution. I have myself made these calculations when we moved to Florida and ended up buying annual pass, even though we went only 5 times!

    Manisha Ranade
    Santa Fe College
    Gainesville FL