Algebra I in the Real World

You don’t think you use math in the real world? Well, the Algebra I Honors students will prove you wrong.


Eighth graders Isabelle Fitzmorris and Abby Morris make a great team when solving equations and graphing lines on their calculators.  Through their Algebra I Honors project, they prove that math is used on a daily basis.  “It was challenging,” said Morris, “but I learned a lot.”

These students have taken graphing and writing equations to new levels by showing that math is used on a daily basis, especially when determining such things as safety regulations, construction and population growth. Math teacher and department chair Mrs. Ashley Reso’s students completed a project in early February that required modern technology to solve equations and graph lines.

In order to complete the project, the Algebra I Honors students first downloaded a picture from the computer onto their calculators and then wrote equations for several lines in the picture. By writing linear equations for real-life objects, they gained a deeper understanding of how steep a roof or a slide should be and what kind of slopes would be acceptable to meet safety regulations, according to Mrs. Reso.

Next, the students adjusted the slope and y-intercept to make the lines fit perfectly with the picture. This exercise required that the students understand the roles the slope and the y-intercept each in play in a linear equation and how adjusting each one can change the look of the graph.

This project was part of a chapter on graphing lines using slope and y-intercept.  In addition to the project, the students discussed other real-life applications of slope and y-intercept. In everyday life, the y-intercept can show the start of a population, while the slope will show how it grows.

Finally, the Algebra I Honors students placed the equations and pictures in a Word document. The graphing in the picture gave them a visual representation of how much the slope had changed. For example, they saw how steep a ramp would actually be.

Since Dominican has incorporated modern technology into the curriculum via the STREAM TM initiative, teachers and students now have a new outlook on their classes and assignments. “Using more technology in class helped the students have a better understanding on writing and graphing equations of lines,” said Mrs. Reso. “I am very pleased with the outcome of their projects.”

With this Algebra I Honors project, students learned a lot about how math is used in the real world while working with others. “It was fun to work with my partner Abby Morris,” said fellow eighth grader Isabelle Fitzmorris. “I really enjoyed the project because this was the first time I used technology to solve math problems.”

– Morgan Forshag