Seven Billion and Counting... -- Int'l Modeling - 21st Century Math Project

Grade Levels
7th - 12th
Formats Included
  • PDF (20 pages)
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As the world's population has ballooned in the past three centuries researchers wait for the other pen to drop. This 21st Century Math Project investigates! Currently sitting at a cool 7 billion (and counting), researchers believe (based on their models) that the world's population will top out at 9.2 billion. It's time for your class to analyze the same data and make their own predictions. Which model best projects the world in 2050? I guess at the class's 38th year reunion you can find out.

This lesson is designed to work with a class set of TI graphing calculators and would work with an Advanced Algebra 1 class, Algebra 2 or PreCalculus.

In this 20 page document you will be given a mapping to the Content Standards, an outline for how to implement the project, handout resources for students to use, and an answer key. In all it is three different assignments --

-- "Seven Billion and Counting" -- using patterns to determine the world in 2050 and constructing pie graphs to represent 1750.

-- "Predictive Models (the long and short of them)" -- students use linear models for global data for two different intervals (1750-2000 and 1975-2010). Students then are asked to develop their own non-linear regression functions.

-- "The World in 2050" -- students will compare the results of their 4 different results, use them to draw conclusion about modeling in general and will construct a pie graph representing the world in 2050.

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Total Pages
20 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
4 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Interpret the slope (rate of change) and the intercept (constant term) of a linear model in the context of the data.
Fit a function to the data; use functions fitted to data to solve problems in the context of the data.
Observe using graphs and tables that a quantity increasing exponentially eventually exceeds a quantity increasing linearly, quadratically, or (more generally) as a polynomial function.
Recognize situations in which one quantity changes at a constant rate per unit interval relative to another.
Distinguish between situations that can be modeled with linear functions and with exponential functions.


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