Social Justice Math Problems

These activities were written to engage students in a mathematical conversation about social justice issues.  The activities do not necessarily correspond to a particular target, or unit of study.  Rather, they can be used anytime of the year, in any high school math class.  Each activity has three parts.  The first part invites students to engage with the issue by making predictions.  The second part gives facts and graphs that require students to use mathematics to answer questions about the topic.  Finally, the third part asks students to make a decision about where they stand on the issue.  

Topic:  Cost of medications
Math topic:  Exponential vs. Linear Functions
Activity:  EpiPen Prices

Topic:  Environmental Issues
Math topic:  Math Literacy

Topic:  Violence in Chicago
Math topic:  Domain and Rate of Change

Topic:  Life Expectancy 
Math topic:  Rate of Change
Activity:  Life Expectancy 

Topic:  College Tuition Costs
Math topic:  Comparing Data Sets
Activity: College Tuition

Topic:  Refugees
Math topic:  Math Literacy 
Activity: Refugees

Topic:  Voter Turnout
Math topic:  Math Literacy
Activity: Voter Turnout

Topic:  Charitable Giving
Math topic:  Creating Graphs
Activity: #GivingTuesday

Topic:  Environmental Issues
Math topic:  Estimation & Systems of Linear Equations

Topic:  Safe Drinking Water
Math topic: Statistics
Activity:  Flint Water Crisis 

Topic:  American Incarcerations
Math topic:  Math Literacy
Activity: American Incarcerations

Topic:  Federally owned land
Math topic:  Geometry (area)
Activity:  Federal Land

Topic:  Perceptions of World Poverty
Math topic:  Estimation
Activity:  World Stats

Topic:  Fairness of legal consequences for under privileged
Math topic:  Fair vs. Equal
Activity:  Speeding Tickets

Topic:  Understanding statistics related to world health & wealth
Math topic:  Estimation
Activity:  World Stats

Topic:  US Poverty Rates
Math topic: Piecewise Functions, Trig Functions
Activity:  US Poverty