As a high school or undergraduate Mathematics teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help you in teaching introductory calculus (integration) and specifically how to solve integration equations.
This lesson plan will allow you to teach integration using a hands-on computer-based classroom activity that includes world petroleum consumption data from 1980 to 2016. This activity includes a set of inquiry-based questions that will enable your students to apply their understanding of the relationship between a function and its integral and to set up and solve equations with an integral to describe the trend of world petroleum consumption over time. Carbon emissions from fossil fuels such as petroleum have contributed towards global warming since the beginning of the industrial age. This lesson plan also includes a classroom resource to enable your students to understand about oil production projections such as the Hubbert’s Peak Theory and the global Carbon Budget to stay within a 2-degree Celsius warming scenario, as per the UN’s Paris Agreement.
Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Mathematics.
Use this lesson plan to help your students find answers to:
- What is the relationship between a function and its integral?
- How has the world petroleum consumption changed since 1980?
- How does the Hubbert’s peak prediction and actual oil production in the US since 1980 differ?
About Lesson Plan
|Grade Level||High school, Undergraduate|
|Discipline||Mathematics, Earth Sciences|
|Topic(s) in Discipline||Setting up and solving integration equations, Relation between a function and its integral|
|Climate Topic||Energy, Economics and Climate Change
Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
|A teaching module to explain integration and the relation between a function and its integral.|
|Classroom/ Laboratory activity
|A classroom activity to apply understanding of integration related problems by setting up and solving for integration equations using a dataset of the World’s Petroleum Consumption over time (1980-2016).|
|A teaching module that discusses global fossil fuel reserves and the Carbon Budget for a 2-degree world. It includes a visualization and downloadable dataset to use as an additional classroom resource about the US oil production over time (1910-2016) and the Hubbert’s Peak prediction about US oil reserves.|
Here is a step-by-step guide to using this lesson plan in the classroom/laboratory. We have suggested these steps as a possible plan of action. You may customize the lesson plan according to your preferences and requirements.
Step 1: Topic introduction and discussion
- Use the teaching module, ‘Integration- Introduction’ by OpenStax, Rice University, to teach about integration and its applications.
- Navigate to the sub-sections within the module to explain the relation between a function and its integral.
- Use the in-built practice exercises and quizzes to evaluate your students’ understanding of the topics.
Step2 : Extend understanding
- Use the classroom activity, ‘World Petroleum Consumption’ from Sustainability Math by Thomas J. Pfaff, Professor of Mathematics, Ithaca College, USA, to enable your students to apply their understanding of integration using a dataset from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
- This classroom activity includes a dataset of the World’s Petroleum Consumption from 1980 to 2016. This data is provided in an Excel spreadsheet.
- The classroom activity also includes a Word document that contains directions on how to use different mathematical methods on the data provided.
- It further includes questions that you may wish to use in your classroom to explain integration to initiate a discussion on the global oil consumption in recent times.
- Direct your students to download the Excel file (with datasets) and the Word document (with directions to use the dataset and a set of questions to analyze the dataset).
- Proceed with the classroom activity and encourage your students to answer the questions by applying their understanding of integration and setting up and solving equations with integrals.
- Discuss how this global petroleum consumption is responsible for carbon emissions that have contributed towards post-industrial age global warming.
Step 3: Discuss further
- Use the visualizations and associated reading, ‘How long before we run out of fossil fuels’ by Hannah Ritchie, Our World in Data, to discuss the global fossil fuel reserves and the carbon budget for a 2-degree world.
- Begin by discussing the Hubbert’s Peak Theory that predicts that the United States will run out of its oil reserves in the decades following year 2000.
- Then use the chart of actual US oil production over time (1910-2016) and discuss why it deviates from the Hubbert’s Peak prediction.
- Discuss why this is significant in the context of carbon emissions and their effect on global warming. The data for the chart is available to download as a CSV file, if you wish to perform further mathematical problems based on it.
- Finally, use the other visualizations to discuss the global fossil fuel reserves and the target carbon budget to ensure that global warming is kept within the 2-degree warming scenario (by reducing fossil fuel based carbon emissions), as per the UN’s Paris Agreement.