The particular article in the link addresses dimensional analysis and fundamental science in relation to math. MOST IMPORTANTLY IT MAY ENGAGE EVEN THE LESS MOTIVATED!
Try it with your prealgebra students as an application of unit conversions, exponents, scientific notation and basic geometry concepts.
Students will need to convert mass (kg) to volume (liters) using the specific gravity of gold, then to cm^3. This will allow them to see how the world's estimated annual production of gold will approximately fill up a cube 14 ft on an edge or, equivalently, a rectangular room 14 ft by 28 ft with 7 ft high ceilings.
By requiring students to research the data and conversion constants, you can integrate the web into the assignment.
A scientific calculator is an appropriate tool here, however, require students to WRITE all steps. It is very easy to lose track of the process when we do a series of 5 or more calculations. The result will appear to be incorrect but the student will be hard pressed to find the error. It's human nature to press CLEAR and keep pressing more buttons until it works, then forget the exact sequence of keystrokes!
RECORD EACH STEP ON PAPER WITH APPROPRIATE UNITS. BE A RESEARCHER!
Let me know if you try it and how it works out.
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