What is the Driving Project?
The Driving Project in Math 2 this year was an opportunity to use math in a real life situation. Our teacher, Dan, thought driving would be the best way for us to apply math to something so relevant. We are learning to drive right now, anyway, so this would be a perfect example of applying math to our every day lives.
My Project: An Overview
For my project, I chose to study the impact of EV (electric vehicles) on the environment. I compared how many tons of carbon I emit currently with my gasoline burning car to what that number would be after a switch to an EV. My results were amazing. After research and calculation, I figured out hat switching to an EV car would cut my emissions in half.
The Four Steps of Exploring Math:
1. Ask A Good Question:
If I switch to an electric-powered car (Tesla) for 1 year, by how much will it effect my carbon footprint?
2. Create a Mathematical Framework:
My mathematical framework for this project consisted of a lot of research. To start, I gathered the basic knowledge I would need to calculate my current carbon footprint. This included my car's mi/gallon capacity, how many miles driven in one year, and how much carbon is emitted burning 1 gallon of gasoline. This part of the process wasn't much research, apart from interviewing my dad on his car.
The second, and more challenging, half of the project was to research electric vehicles and how much carbon it takes to generate one. My first instinct was to research Tesla. Tesla cars have the largest range of miles in one charge, and they are the leading brand for electrical efficiency. After researching Tesla models, I learned the battery capacity, the range per charge, and some other useful tools that helped me answer my question. Tesla taught me a lot, but I was not finished yet. My next task was to research the amount of carbon it took to generate a Tesla battery, and how much CO2 generating that electricity would emit. Once I had all my data laid out, it was pretty simple multiplication from there.
3. Do the Math:
After I researched the main points of data I needed to answer the question, it was pretty simple from there. As you can see in my poster, (above) I figured out how many pounds of carbon it took to burn 1 gallon of gasoline, and one kilo-watt-hour of electricity. I then multiplied that number by the number of miles or kWh’s I would use in one year of driving.
I was amazingly surprised at the results I came up with. Not only did I come to a very specific answer, but I figured out that switching to an EV would split my emissions in half. As someone who is interested in climate change mitigation and math, this project was a perfect outlet for me to learn new things about my passions.