Author:
Tracy Rains
Subject:
Mathematics, Algebra
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
High School
Grade:
9, 10, 11, 12
Tags:
  • Economics
  • Polynomial and Rational Functions
  • Retirement
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Interactive, Text/HTML, Video

    Problem Based Module: Baby Booming the Economy

    Problem Based Module: Baby Booming the Economy

    Overview

    In this project, you will explore a real-world problem, and then work through a series of steps to analyze that problem, research ways the problem could be solved, then propose a possible solution to that problem. Often, there are no specific right or wrong solutions, but sometimes one particular solution may be better than others. The key is making sure you fully understand the problem, have researched some possible solutions, and have proposed the solution that you can support with information / evidence.

    Begin by reading the problem statement in Step 1. Take the time to review all the information provided in the statement, including exploring the websites, videos and / or articles that are linked. Then work on steps 2 through 8 to complete this problem-based learning experience.

    THE PROBLEM

    STEP 1: THE PROBLEM

    For decades, the retirement of the baby boom generation has been a looming economic threat. Now, it’s no longer looming — it’s here. Every month, more than a quarter-million Americans turn 65. That’s a trend with profound economic consequences. Simply put, retirees don’t contribute as much to the economy as workers do. They don’t produce anything, at least directly. They don’t spend as much on average. And they’re much more likely to depend on others — the government or their own children, most often — than to support themselves. (FiveThirtyEight)

    According to the Atlanta Fed Model, the US economy is strong and getting stronger (CNBC) - is that truly accurate?  How can we tell? What is the current state of the US Economy? It is said that the outlook for the US economy is healthy - what does that mean?

    So, what impact will this have on the economy of the US?  What can we do to prepare? How can we help soften that impact?  What does it mean for those of us in the workforce and those just entering the workforce?  Is the US Economy strong enough to handle this situation?  

    What should we as individuals do to ensure we are financially able to meet the needs of us and our families?  What can students do to prepare for their financial futures?

    DEFINE THE ISSUE

    STEP 2: DEFINE THE ISSUE

    Think

    1. How could you sort/classify/categorize this problem? What type of problem is it?

    2. What is the motive/underlying theme/message?

    Do

    • Use your words to summarize the problem in 4-6 sentences.

     

    WHAT DO YOU KNOW

    STEP 3: WHAT DO YOU KNOW

    Think

    1. List the keywords from the case study. Put a check beside words you are familiar with prior to starting this project.

    2. Brainstorm and categorize to create a list of the significant parts of this problem.

    Do

    • Make a chart showing what you know that will help you solve the problem.

     

    ANALYZE THE CASE INFORMATION

    STEP 4: ANALYZE THE CASE INFORMATION

    Think

    1. Determine if the information is based on fact or opinion.

    2. Distinguish relevant/irrelevant information from the current case study and provided resources.

    3. How would you compare/contrast the constraints and opportunities of the problem?

    4. Infer and explain information that is important to the case solution, but is not explicitly stated in the case.

    Do

    • Develop and write out the problem statement in your own words.

    POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

    STEP 5: POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

    Think

    1. What are other possible outcomes?

    2. Analyze and explain the multiple perspectives/solutions within this case.

    3. What conclusions can you draw from your research?

    4. Generate alternative solutions.

    Do

    • Gather, organize, and interpret information from multiple sources.

    • Based on what you know, defend your preferred solution.

    RESEARCH SOLUTION

    STEP 6: RESEARCH SOLUTION

    Think

    1. Research the knowledge and data you need to support the solution and fill in missing gaps.

    2. Investigate and draw conclusions about how the preferred solution impacts the world today.

    3. What changes to your preferred solution will/have you made?

    4. What evidence justifies your solution?

    Do

    • Select decision criteria.

    • Analyze and evaluate alternatives.
       

    CONSTRUCT CONCLUSIONS

    STEP 7: CONSTRUCT CONCLUSIONS

    Think

    1. Review your research and develop a solution, providing supporting documentation to convince others of your solution.

    2. Decide if you will be creating an argument or a model to illustrate your solution.

    Do

    • Develop a plan/proposal with supporting documentation to convince others of your solution.

    • Make sure to include the following items in your proposal.  (Feel free to include additional information as you need to explain your solution.)

    • Describe your findings and/or recommendations.

    • List the problem statement questions.

    • Break down the data you gathered into an analysis that supports your solution(s) or recommendation(s).

    • Summarize the process you used and options considered, along with any difficulties you encountered.

    • Your presentation can be a video of yourself presenting your model or argument, or it can be an animated video using infographics and other images.

    REFLECTIONS

    STEP 8: REFLECTIONS

    Think

    1. How did you decide to…?

    2. What seemed difficult?

    3. What seemed (or eventually became) easy?

    4. If you were to do any part of this over, what would it be and how would you change it?

    5. What did you learn about the topic or about yourself during this project?

    Do

    Write a 3-5 paragraph reflection essay including these three parts:

    1. Include an introduction where you focus directly on explaining what aspect of your experiences you will discuss in the reflection.

    2. The body of the essay should explain how you have changed or what you have learned. Make certain to explain what things caused you to change.

    3. In the conclusion of a reflective essay, you should discuss how you have changed and the effect of those changes. You should share how you think the experience will change you in the future.