Drugs- A Diminishing Return {Exponential Decay Project}

My Algebra class just finished a unit/chapter on exponential properties and exponential functions. It seemed like this unit took forever because of snow days and other miscellaneous stuff.  My students turned in a final ‘project’ for this unit and I thought I’d share the project! It was pretty easy, but it really got them to think!

When I started teaching, my mentor teacher gave me this project to do with my students and I’ve been doing it every year since. It’s more of an exploration rather than a ‘project’, but I really like it! It’s called Drugs-A Diminishing Return.

Overview: The student poses as an olympic athlete (it wasn’t planned to coincide with the olympics but it was cool that it worked out!).  The students wake up on Thursday with a cold and are scheduled to race on Friday at 4:00pm.  It’s possible for cold medication to effect drug test, so the student has to figure out if there will be enough in their system for the drug test to detect the cold medication if he takes 16 grams and the drug dissipates 1/4 of the medication every four hours. If you’d like a copy, you can download part one here and part two here.

Part One:



Part Two:
Exponential decayI LOVE these discussion questions! Talk about some deep thinking and applying their knowledge!

I’m going to save some of the student’s responses for another post!