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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Design a Zoo -- Integrated Geometry Area & Perimeter Project


While your Justin Beiber lovers may not be willing to admit it... they like doing assignments with ostriches on them. It's just a fact. In this 21st Century Math Project, students will plan and accommodate animals from all around the world. Turn your 7th period into a zoo.
Name: Design a Zoo
Suggested Grade Level: 7-12 (Geometry skills)
Math Concepts: Area, Perimeter, Irregular Figures, Apothems, Scale, Basic Algebra Skills
Interdisciplinary Connections: Design Planning, Zoo Stuff, Architecture.
Teaching Duration: 3-4 Days (can be modified)
Cost: $8 for a 27 Page PDF (1 project, 2 assignment and answer keys) 
PDF Version: Design a Zoo @ TPT

The Product: Students use a budget to purchase animals and architecture with the goal of building the zoo that can create the most revenue. 

I have well-fed pet meerkats in
my basement
Not going to lie. I indulged myself on this project. My 3 year old son loves going to the zoo. My 1 year old daughter would love going to the zoo if she realized she were at the zoo. But the secret is Mommy and Daddy love going to the zoo. Luckily we live next to like the 2nd best zoo in America -- the Columbus Zoo

At our zoo, the exhibits are so wonderfully accommodating for the animals. Others we have been to feel like the animals are packed in so tight they are sitting on my lap. While some may prefer it, I'd like my zoo animals to be able to turn around. Naturally the idea of area and perimeter fit perfectly with this idea. Sprinkle a little Zoo Swagg and hopefully this is a project that middle schoolers and high schoolers alike will enjoy.

Please tell me that assignment with the
buffalo on it has some geometry in it.
Answer: OODLES AND OODLES!

I choose to focus on unique shapes, regular polygons with apothems and irregular figures, students determine which exhibits fit which animals needs. Of course with irregular figures their will be needs for the practice with rectangles and circles, but in my experience these are done to death.

The assignments break down like this:

- In “Animal Wrangling” students will use area and perimeter skills to meet the different needs of different animals.

- In “Cage Match” students will determine the size of potential exhibits that which includes a basic shapes, regular polygons with apothems, and irregular figures. Which animal best fits in each exhibit? They will calculate and figure it out!

- In “Design a Zoo” students will dive in completely where they will work with a budget of $2,000,000 to select animals and build appropriate exhibits. A little algebra required.

- In "Zoo: Year 1" students will calculate how their choices led to profit. Tally up the student who has the most cash on hand to figure out a winner!

EXTENSION: Expanding the scale of the property can allow students to go crazy and build massive zoos. They will be somewhat limited in this assignment with space (intentionally so), but they may enjoy going farther with it! If you have an old copy of the PC game Zoo Tycoon they might enjoy it!

Lions, Tigers, Bears and 21st Century Math Projects. Math it up. Keep it real. Peace!

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