Why I Listen--WCYDWT?

Why is it that Regular M and M's are 1.69 ounces per package, but Peanut Butter M and M's are 1.63 ounces per package?
(The M and M Anomaly, Planet Money, June 6, 2014)

How do All You Can Eat restaurants make money?  (How Do Restaurants Set Their Buffet Prices, Marketplace, June 9, 2014)

What does one do when his child has a rare disease and you find out that no pharmaceutical company wants to invest in research because it isn't profitable? (ie, virility drugs sell more than FIVE Billion dollars annually) "For Sufferers of Rare Diseases, Options are Rare Too, Marketplace, June 9, 2014"

Why will it take at least 10 years for the number of US women CEOs to be on parity with the number of male CEOs when women make up nearly 60% of the work force? (Women make up about 3-4% of CEOs in the US currently) (Will Women CEOs Still Standout in 2024? Marketplace, May 21, 2014)

I have been collecting these juicy morsels of audio files for months and days, knowing how they inspire me, and wondering how I can use them in my classroom to inspire my students. I was listening to this line from Marketplace when my students were just finishing exponential growth and parent graphs:

“[This] kind of social change isn’t a line. It's a curve. It's slow to begin with, like the adoption of a new technology, and then it ratchets up. And it has all these spillover effects. Talented women mentor other women. They mentor other women. The curve gets very steep very quickly.”

I was so excited because I knew my students could visualize and draw out reasonable graphs to describe what this professor from Harvard was saying.

These stories light me up. They make me curious. I know somewhere in these stories there are opportunities for low entry, high ceiling questions that can lead to meaningful mathematics:

Compare and Contrast
Academic Vocabulary
Crafting Meaningful Arguments
Modeling Mathematics


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