Student project on linear functions.
Skills needed - graphing linear functions, converting units, solving for intersections of lines (although could be modified to solve on a calculator or computer software)
Students are given a choice between 3 options for travelling on a 1400km road trip between Canada and the US. They can take their own car, rent from Budget or rent from Enterprise. Screen shots of rental costs are given so students do not need internet access for this research (although the project could be easily altered so that they must research costs also).
Gas prices in both US and Canada are found, converted to one unit, and averaged to approximate overall costs gas costs.
If using their own car, additional costs are approximated using govt rates and discussed.
If renting, one company has unlimited mileage, the other has unlimited up to 200km per day. This creates a piecewise function, although my students have no prior knowledge to this. If the 3 day trip is less than 600km, one function applies, if it is longer (and it is) then another applies.
A chart or graphic organizer is used to organize costs of each option.
Students graph cost vs distance travelled for each option.
The intersection of these lines along with the x =( total distance) line is used to find total costs for each option.
The project is repeated with a within-country trip. Students must make adjustments to previous calculations to avoid errors. Options for this shorter trip are then compared. Could be completed first as a teacher-led activity with the larger project done individually or as an assessment.
The 13 page file is pdf file - complete project and answers plus computer generated graphs and intersections points.
Also included is a separate 7 page Word document which is fully editable as you may wish to change start/stop locations or specific questions. This project goes between Halifax, NS and Bangor, Maine but this is easily changed as needed.