Math Project: Per Cents in the Real World (Lebanon High School - Competency Math)
Lebanon, Tennessee
Ken Thomas, teacher

Suppose I came up to you and said, "I understand you are taking a math course that involves percents. I think per cents are useless in the real world, I don't think you need to know about percents." Your task is to answer my challenge and show me with examples from the real world that percents are used to communicate many important ideas, especially in the world of business and in the news. Your instructions are found below.

Note to parent(s): You are encouraged to help your son/daughter find appropriate materials, but please allow them to assemble their own poster and write their own materials. You may be able to give them some uses that you make of per cents. The conversation between parents and children on this topic is a part of the educational experience.

Introduction: This project will be equal to a chapter test grade, and is very important to the 3rd grading period's grade. Students need to collect references to per cents in sale pages of the paper, ads for cars (buy and/or lease), ads for real estate mortgages, per cent increase or decrease of stock prices, etc., per cents used in news stories, charts, graphs, etc. The more different ways in which you can find per cents used, the better. Also acceptable will be printouts from Internet articles and web sites. Magazine articles and ads are also excellent to add variety and color.

First part: Poster
Choose the articles and other materials that will most effectively show a variety of uses of percents. Arrange and mount these in as appealing way as you can, thinking about how your materials would help another person to see the variety of per cent references that are used in the business world. A minimum of four different uses of percent is required. For example, not all materials should be from sale advertisements.

Second part: A folder/ notebook
The folder may contain additional articles, pictures, etc. that would not go on the poster, but help to carry out the purpose of the poster. Students also need to describe their conclusions about what they have found, and the significance of different percentage references on the poster. In addition to explaining the poster, students may also want to make up some problems using actual advertisements or information from their articles. The folder will be graded on the quality of content, not just how many clippings have been found. Neatness, readability, correct spelling, and organization will enhance the grade, while the absence of these could cause the grade to be lower.

Bonus: A bonus of ten points will be added to the lowest major test grade for a student that can provide an example in which an advertiser's percent of discount is not calculated accurately in examples given by the advertiser, and the customer is not really getting the discount that is advertised. This example needs to be presented separately, and not attached to the poster or folder.
Have fun and do a good job.
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This page was last updated on: June 20, 2011
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