Mathematics: Applications & Concepts, Course 1
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Unit 1 WebQuest Project

People, People, and More People

Introduction | Task | Process | Guidance | Resources | Conclusion

Introduction
Have you ever looked around you and wondered just how many people live in the United States? How many of them live in your state? Are there more males or females? How ethnically diverse is our nation? Well, put on your researching gear, because we are about to jump into a sea of data in search of the answers to these and other related questions. You'll look at our nation's population, past and present, and make some predictions about its future. So prepare to learn more about your neighbors and your nation than you ever thought possible.



The Task
Below is a brief description of each challenge you will encounter in this WebQuest. The Process section has a detailed description of each activity. Also, the Guidance section has some helpful hints, and the Resource section has useful Web sites for you to use.

Population Challenge 1:
First, gather data about the number of males and females in the United States in 2000. Also, find data about the ethnicity of those living in the United States at that time. Then create two graphs that appropriately represent the data.

Population Challenge 2:
Next, find the population of each state in the United States in 2000. Find measures of central tendency for this data. Use this data to estimate the population of the United States. Find the actual population of the United States and compare to your estimate. Then predict the population of the United States in 2015.

Population Challenge 3:
Last, create a presentation that includes your data and graphs from Challenges 1 and 2.



The Process
Below is a detailed description of each challenge.

Population Challenge 1:

Find data on the number of males and females in the United States, as well as the ethnicity of the population of the United States in 2000. Print out Worksheet 1 and record your findings.

  1. Using your knowledge of the various types of graphs, create an appropriate graph for each set of data.

  2. Explain your choice of graph type in at least two sentences for each set of data.

 


Worksheet 1

Name:_____________________________________

Date:_________________


Fill in each chart with the appropriate information.

Ethnicity and U.S. Population in 2000

Ethnicity Number

Caucasian

 
African American

 
Hispanic

 
American Indian and Alaska Native

 
Asian

 
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander

 
Other

 

Ethnicity and Gender in 2000

Ethnicity

Number
of Females

Number
 of Males

Caucasian

   
African American

   
Hispanic

   
American Indian and Alaska Native

   
Asian

   
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander

   
Other

   

 

Population Challenge 2:

  1. Find and record the population of each state in the United States using Worksheet 2.

  2. Use your findings to estimate the total population of the United States. Record your estimate on Worksheet 2.

  3. Find the actual population of the United States and compare this number with your estimate. Record the difference between your estimate and the actual population on Worksheet 2.

  4. Find the mean, median, and mode of the state population data. Determine which measure best describes the central tendency of the data and explain your reasoning. Record your answers on Worksheet 2.

  5. Research the change in the U.S. population since 1950. Then create a graph that represents this data. Use your graph to predict the population of the United States in 2015. Explain how you arrived at your prediction in 2-4 sentences.

 

Worksheet 2

Name:_____________________________________

Date:_________________

  1. Fill in the chart with the appropriate information.
State

Total Population

Alabama

 
Alaska

 
Arizona

 
Arkansas

 
California

 
Colorado

 
Connecticut

 
Delaware

 
Florida

 
Georgia

 
Hawaii

 
Idaho

 
Illinois

 
Indiana

 
Iowa

 
Kansas

 
Kentucky

 
Louisiana

 
Maine

 
Maryland

 
Massachusetts

 
Michigan

 
Minnesota

 
Mississippi

 
Missouri

 
Montana

 
Nebraska

 
Nevada

 
New Hampshire

 
New Jersey

 
New Mexico

 
New York

 
North Carolina

 
North Dakota

 
Ohio

 
Oklahoma

 
Oregon

 
Pennsylvania

 
Rhode Island

 
South Carolina

 
South Dakota

 
Tennessee

 
Texas

 
Utah

 
Vermont

 
Virginia

 
Washington

 
West Virginia

 
Wisconsin

 
Wyoming

 

 

  1. Estimate the total population of the United States using the above data.

  2. Research to find the actual population of the U.S. What is the difference between your estimation and the actual population?

  3. Find the mean, median, and mode of the state population data. Which measure best describes the central tendency of the data? Explain your reasoning.

  4. Now that you have researched the history of the population of the U.S., create your graph below or on graph paper. What is your prediction for 2015? Explain your prediction in 2-4 sentences.



Population Challenge 3:

Create a presentation that includes the following:

  • Worksheet 1 and both of your graphs on gender and ethnicity in the United States; and
  • Worksheet 2 and your graph of the U.S. population since 1950.

Choose one state, research its gender and ethnic make-up in the year 2000. Create two graphs similar to those done in Population Challenge 1 and write a few sentences comparing the gender and ethnic make-up of that state to the gender and ethnic make-up of the United States as a whole.



Guidance
If you are having difficulties with a particular challenge, take a look at some of the helpful hints below.

Population Challenge 1:

  1. Remember to label and title your graphs.

  2. The following are the different types of graphs you can choose from: frequency tables, bar graphs, line graphs, stem-and-leaf plots, and circle graphs. Your text has descriptions of each type of graph.

  3. Since the numbers you are graphing are large, rounding the numbers to the nearest thousand or hundred thousand might be helpful.

  4. Remember, your second graph has three components: ethnicity, female, and male. All three need to be on the same graph.

Population Challenge 2:

  1. Remember to label and title your graphs.

  2. Since the numbers you are graphing are large, rounding the numbers to the nearest thousand or hundred thousand might be helpful.

  3. To review calculating the mean, median, and mode of a set of data, refer to Lesson 2-8 in your text.

Population Challenge 3:

Some of the presentations that you could create are:

  • a booklet,
  • a poster, or
  • a newspaper/magazine article.

Resources

Listed below are two Web sites that you will find very useful in this WebQuest.

U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Historical Census Data Browser


Conclusion
Congratulations! Only a sophisticated and intelligent student could complete such a challenging task! You have successfully completed your job as a Data Analyzer, Researcher, and Sociologist. As you can see, it is important for everyone to be able to analyze and properly display information. You have proven your ability to graph data, find and interpret measures of central tendency, and research real-life problems. We hope you have enjoyed learning about the people that make up our nation.

 
 
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Mathematics: Applications & Concepts, Course 1