My Year 11 Foundation Maths class are presently choosing their first new car.
I bought into class car guide liftouts from friday’s newspapers and allowed students to choose a vehicle they would like to buy. No surprise that most girls opted for a small petrol efficient 4 cylinder car, while most boys picked either a highly powered 6 or 8 cylinder sedan or a very heavy and expensive 4wd! Personally, the BMW E90 330i M Sport Saloon, pictured above would suit me!
Next students got on the web to use a bank personal loan calculator. Monthly or fortnightly repayments were noted and the total interest paid on the loan was calculated.
Of course cars are expensive to run so a board game was played to simulate rego, insurance, fines, petrol, etc.
The board game comes from the excellent text book:
Forster et al 1997. “Hands-on Maths in Practice”, Addison Wesley Longman Australia Pty Ltd, pp 215-218.
Finally the students got to use their cars on a trip to a certain destination in Australia, calculating distance and approx. travel time.
My students enjoyed this assignment. The level of engagement has been high. I am also pleased that they have learnt about an important life event that they will need to use Mathematics for in the near future.
My assignment sheet can be viewed or downloaded at scribd.
A further extension to this assignment would be to get an online quote for car insurance. Then discuss why comprehensive insurance for males under 25 years old is so expensive.