Saturday, October 6, 2012

CSI: Algebra -- STEM Project -- Unit 3 -- Solving Equations

Solve for x. Save Earth.

Nothing like a good criminal investigation to liven up number sense with a 21st Century Math Project! In this project, students will work in teams to investigate the culprit of six fictional thefts. The criminal has left six messages, layered with algebra. Teams will work to build a case and present their findings to the court. Hopefully they are convincing enough to win the verdict.

Name: CSI: Algebra – Solving Equation (Unit 3)
Suggested Grade Level: 7-12 (Primarily Pre-Algebra & Algebra math skills)
Math Concepts: Solving Multi-Step Linear Equations. Translating Verbal to Algebraic Expressions & Using Equations
Interdisciplinary Connections: Middle Eastern Culture and History, Social Studies
Teaching Duration: 2-5 Days with Optional Jury Presentation
Cost: $5 for a 12 Page PDF and Answer Key 

The Product: Students build a criminal case versus a suspect using evidence from six “crime scenes”. Optional: Jury Presentation of Evidence in front of the class.

Will this actually make my brain turn on?
I'm a little excited. Calm me down!
CSI: Algebra quickly became my most popular 21st Century Math Project on TPT and remains on the top. I’ve shared my projects with a number of teachers, but no lessons get them giddy like my CSI Projects. There’s just something innate and fun about solving the puzzles and solving the crime. And with Math!

When I first sat down to write projects, I wanted to write stuff I would have wanted to do when I was a kid. This was one of the first ones I wrote.

A single lesson sprung into 3 which has spawned my first eBook which covers the entirety of most Algebra 1 curriculums. Depending on its success, I may dive face first into creating more units for Geometry and Algebra 2. If you want to give it a try, have at it. But these take time to craft well.

The Rhind Papyrus. Loaded with 21st Century Math ideas!
In this episode of CSI: Algebra 1, students are taken through a bizarre string of crimes throughout the Middle East – drawing inspiration from its rich (and mathematical) history. Students will solve equations on an Egyptian crest, use a volume equation to calculate the height of a pyramid in cubits, solve an ancient verbal equation problem from the Rhind Papyrus, solve equations with variables on both sides inspired by Hammurabi’s Code and will translate hieroglyphics into a distribution problem. All in a day’s work.

What's that cat worth?
You think they'll actually work harder
to solve complicated problems because
you drew cats? (Answer = yes!)
This project would fit nicely into a Middle School Pre-Algebra class or an Algebra 1 class learning equation solving. I find that these serve well as Chapter Reviews before Tests. Do be careful about how you assign it though, given the problems unique nature, students can be confused about what to do. Given the level of your class you can drop hints and differentiate as needed. My guarantee, you’re best, nerdiest math students will love it!

If you dig this CSI Project, you’ll find plenty more like it @ 21st Century Math Project

Keep your eyes open for the first ever Free for Three, Boomdiggy post. For three hours, I will make a surprise item in my store free. If you show up at the three hours and two minute mark, you will pay -- literally. It'd be super awesome if you'd follow me on Pinterest and extra amazing fantastic if you put a review on TPT!


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