Maths in the City

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  • Estimate the cost of a cappuccino in the independent corner shop and a large chain of coffee shops. What is the actual price? Is there a difference between the prices in the two stores? 
  • If you are looking for a ‘pay as you go’ phone, which mobile phone operator offers the best deal in your town or online? How much for the phone and what is the minimum credit that you must purchase each month? What does the phone offer e.g. unlimited data etc. 
  • What is the hourly cost of parking in your town centre? If you stay for 3 hours, what will it cost? 
  • Compare the above with the hourly cost of parking in underground car park. Which place is the cheapest parking option for 3 hours? 
  • If you go into your local fast food take away with €20/£20, could you buy a ‘children’s meal’ for 4 people? Would you have any change left over? 



Length and Time 
  • Estimate the distance in kilometres and time it would take you to walk from your school to the nearest Supermarket. Now use google maps to check the distance and time. 
  • Find out the perimeter of the local park. How many times would you have to walk about the perimeter to complete a 5km walk? 
  • If you are sitting in the car at the traffic lights, count in seconds for how long the lights stay on red. Do this at various other traffic lights around the town / city as well and see if they all stay on red for the same amount of time. Why do you think there might be a difference in the time that some traffic lights stay on red? 
  • Estimate the distance in kilometres and time that it would take you to walk from your home to the nearest sports stadium. Use Google maps to see how close to your estimate you were. 
  • Think of a bus stop near your home. Estimate the distance (in kilometres) that there is between your nearest bus stop and the next bus stop along the route? Try and find out the actual distance between the bus stops. Why do you think that the town planners put this distance between the bus stops? In your opinion should there be more or less space between the bus stops? 
  • Look at your local playground and estimate how many square metres of area it takes up. Ask your teacher to give you an estimation as well and see how close you are to the teacher’s estimate. 
  • Have a look at a round tower in your vicinity and estimate the approximate diameter of the tower. Ask your teacher if your estimate is a good estimate. Using this information, find out the approximate circumference of the tower. Maybe you might be able to calculate the area that the tower takes up as well? 
Shape and Space – 3D Shapes 
  • Take a look at the outside of your local cathedral / church / place of worship.  Can you find examples of the following 3D shapes on the outside of either of these churches? 
A sphere, a cube, a cuboid, a triangular prism, a cone, or a cylinder 
  • Go to the main street in your town / city. What do you notice about the buildings? Are they all the same height? Do they all have the same number of levels?  What type of 3D shape are these buildings? Can you investigate what style of architecture that these buildings are based on? 

Why do you think that some roads are narrower than other roads in your town?