Exponential Growth and Longmont

The original purpose of this redesigned plan was to show students how to use exponential data to make changes to a growing community. This quickly developed into a great project on creating a business. As Longmont grows, it will inevitably need more resources such as roads, housing, grocery stores, schools, restaurants, and more. The students picked the resource that they were most interested in building and started to work through the numbers.  The first major task they dealt with was population density. They had to determine when the town would need another one of their resources based on the exponential growth of the city. For example, how many more people would Longmont need in order to justify having another McDonald's? Once they were able to calculate the approximate timeline of their projects, they had to calculate the funding using standard business loans from local banks. Loan interest is also an exponential function, so the math was reinforced as they had to calculate details like interest, loan payments, and total cost of their projects. With their price tags raging from $1.5 million to $25 million, the students quickly realized how difficult it can be to truly fund a new business and how much money businesses need to make in order to stay afloat. The students responded positively to the realism of this project. Knowing how to use those exponential functions and gaining an understanding of the money involved in creating something that superficially seems so simple really gave students a much better perspective on money and business. Resources to revamp this unit were provided through the RTTT grant from the US Department of Education.