This resource applies algebraic lessons on linear systems to determine whether it is more environmentally friendly and cost-effective to own an electric vehicle rather than a gas vehicle.
Students watch a step-by-step video, answer guided questions, and solve problems using interactive graphing tools to learn how to construct a system of equations, estimate values with a table or graph, and solve the y=mx+b equations using the substitution and elimination methods.
Teaching Tips
Positives
There are guided notes for students and an answer key for teachers.
This resource includes online interactive tools to graph, create tables, answer questions, and create and solve equations.
Teachers can make a copy of the Google form to collect responses to reflection questions on the activity.
Additional Prerequisites
Teachers and students need to create a free account to access some of the materials.
Although outside of the scope of the lesson, you could include information about alternative transportation-related climate solutions (such as public transportation) and the possible social implications of producing a vehicle, many of which are difficult to measure in economic terms.
Differentiation
This resource includes free guides on how to use the resource in different classroom settings, including in-person, online, and hybrid settings.
Teachers are also given access to the data used in the resource, which more advanced students could work with to solve other questions.
This resource can also be used in economics classes during lessons about cost-benefit analysis and in civics classes during lessons about policies aimed at reducing the effects of the transportation sector on the climate.
Scientist Notes
Using an algebraic approach, the resource compares the environmental benefits and costs of a Tesla electric automobile to a gas-powered vehicle. In order to determine which car can make a big contribution to solving climate change, students might examine the linear relationship between the two vehicles over time. This resource enjoys high confidence and is advised for usage in classroom settings.
HSA.CED.A.2 Create equations in two or more variables to represent relationships between quantities; graph equations on coordinate axes with labels and scales.
Algebraic Reasoning: Algebra: Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities (9-12)
HSA.REI.C.6 Solve systems of linear equations exactly and approximately (e.g., with graphs), focusing on pairs of linear equations in two variables.
Science and Engineering
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.