In this blog series, we're highlighting math modeling modules and articles that explore real-world issues that affect everyone.
Today, we're talking about water conservation. Historically, water has been taken for granted, especially in humid areas like the southeastern United States, making it one of the top real-world issues around sustainability.
At the heart of sustainability is the need to ensure the long-term persistence and vitality of both humans and the natural environment. Sustainability focuses on interactions between nature and society. These interactions are complex and do not abide disciplinary boundaries. They require understanding of physical and biological processes that are overlaid by human social, political, and economic concerns.
This water conversation module uses math concepts of estimation and dimensional analysis to understand the discharge rate of water and total volume of runoff. Using geometry concepts of volume and area, students will explore what it really means to get one inch of rain and how it differs across various terrains. Students will calculate runoff and determine where the water goes and the effects it has on the environment.
Examples of diagrams in this math module.
Students will explore the reasonableness of their answers and begin to connect their assumptions with the accuracy of their conclusion. Students will understand runoff: how to calculate runoff, determine the effects of runoff, and investigate ways to mitigate runoff.
Here are some other real-world math modeling modules we’ve featured lately:
Want more free modules? Check out this list of 10 interesting math modules.