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Duplicate and distribute these activities. Students may work independently or cooperatively.

Calculate Your Commute
Use your data-gathering skills to develop a composite picture of your class’s commute experiences.

• Design a commute survey form, or use the Commute Survey Form provided below.

• Distribute it to your classmates, or to people in a group of which you are a member.

• Collect the results. Figure out how to use math to make each part of the data quickly understandable to an audience. For example, you might compute the average times of worst-case, typical, and best-case commutes and then compare these by creating a bar graph.

You might extend this activity by polling members of other classes or groups and comparing their responses to those of your class or group.


Commute Survey

Distance (One Way) ________________________

Mode of Commuting

from home to school ________________________

from school to home ________________________

Home to School

Typical Time ________________________

Fastest Time ________________________

Slowest Time ________________________

School to Home

Typical Time ________________________

Fastest Time ________________________

Slowest Time ________________________


Compare Increases
In the past ten years, the average pay of chief executive officers in the United States has increased by 481%. During the same period, the minimum wage that must be paid a worker has increased 54%, from $3.35 an hour to $5.15 an hour. Using these figures, calculate the following:

• the current hourly rate of pay of a CEO who earned $40/hr. ten years ago whose rate of pay has increased at the average rate for all CEOs

• the hourly rate of pay this CEO will earn ten years from now, if her or his rate increases at the same rate it did in the prior ten years

• The hourly rate of pay of a minimum-wage worker ten years from now, if the minimum wage increases at the same rate it did in the prior ten years

• the number of minimum wage workers who could be paid ten years from now on the salary of one CEO (Use the rates you completed above.)

You might want to do a bar graph showing the minimum wage then and now, and a bar graph showing the CEO wage then and now, and follow up this activity by debating whether any limitations should be placed on executive salaries, or whether greater increases in the minimum wage should be mandated. (Hint: These are complex issues. To do a good job debating these points, you will need to do research on several topics related to wages in the United States,including the relative importance of top management in determining the success or failure of companies.)