Each year, high school students participate in a two-day program drug and alcohol awareness program. Put on by local law enforcement, emergency responders, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the student council, the program is designed to educate students about the hazards of drinking and driving.
One year, a senior math class decided to contribute to the program by doing a service-learning project focused on educating themselves and their community about the bodily effects of alcohol and presenting their findings during the week of the program.
The students analyzed the effects that alcohol has on individuals based on body weight; studied the increase and decrease of blood alcohol content (BAC) as a function of time; and examined the exponential relationship between BAC and accident risk. With graphing calculators and Microsoft Excel, the students modeled their knowledge using exponential functions, which they depicted on graphs and tabular charts. The students then created large posters to display their graphs, charts, and information about BAC in the school halls for everyone to learn from during the program week.