A common question students ask about math is: “When are we gonna have to use this?” or “Why do we need to know how to do this?” Well, now is the chance for your students to answer their own questions! After my first class completed this project, I asked my 7th grade students what they thought about it. They were surprised at how often the adults in their lives actually did mathematics! They thought this was a worthwhile project (not just busywork) because it helped them see that math really IS everywhere! It was more impacting than when I TOLD them math was everywhere. They actually were able to discover that themselves. One of my Algebra students was floored when he found out that his father uses exponential growth and decay equations at work. He had no idea that the formulas and equations we study actually get used in the real world. This was a very worthwhile project for most students--of course, there were those few who claimed they already knew math was everywhere...but we'll always have kids like that! This project can be modified for any grade level to do. The younger students can be given interview questions, or have less requirements, and older students can have requirements for more specific written responses. The way the project is written is intended for 7th and 8th grade students.
I have also included a peer review form to be used during the presentations. I find peer review forms such as these to be good for classroom management--it's a good way to keep the audience attentive while their peers are speaking. Also, they know they are getting graded while in the audience.