Exponential Growth and the U.S. Debt

A brief description of a hands-on activity that allows students to determine if the U.S. National Debt is growing exponentially.   Includes a short video about the debt and link explaining how to calculate doubling time.  Should be paired with instruction on regression/curve fitting with a calculator or CAS such as http://download.intel.com/education/Common/en/Resources/DEP/track/track_worksheet.doc. Students can interpret results of mathematical modeling to answer questions, and determine the accuracy and reliability of a model.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3103.1.2
Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to problem solving, including testing cases, estimation, and then checking induced errors and the...
CLE 3103.1.4
Move flexibly between multiple representations (contextual, physical, written, verbal, iconic/pictorial, graphical, tabular, and symbolic), to solve problems, to...
CLE 3103.1.7
Use technologies appropriately to develop understanding of abstract mathematical ideas, to facilitate problem solving, and to produce accurate and reliable models.
CLE 3103.2.3
Use appropriate technology (including graphing calculators and computer spreadsheets) to solve problems, recognize patterns and collect and analyze data.
CLE 3103.5.1
Describe, interpret, and apply quantitative data.
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Lesson Variations

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