Gas Price History
Hook | Questions | Procedures | Data Investigation | Analysis | Findings | New Questions
student page contains the hook only. It is intended to spark interest
in the topic and lead students to ask questions or make predictions.
With the ongoing turmoil in the world, specifically in the Middle East, we are being exposed to how the world situation is affecting our daily lives. One area of our lives that is being affected is the fluctuation of gas prices. Many people just blindly state that a war in the Middle East increases the price of gasoline. It takes an inquiring mind to take it one step further and explain if and how it is affecting prices. Is there some type of relationship or explanation of how gasoline prices are affected by issues in the world or is gasoline no different than other commodities?
Students might ask similar but different questions than those listed here. The more students are guided to ask specific questions, the less inquiry-oriented the activity.
As a teacher you usually have specific topics that you need to teach, so there are probably going to be boundaries around the types of questions you want your students to ask. These questions will drive the inquiry. List here the main question(s) that you will lead your students to ask.1. How much have the gas prices changed? How fast are they increasing?
2. How were the gas prices affected during the first gulf war?
3. Based on the post effects of the first gulf war on gas prices, can you predict what will happen after this current war?
4. Outside of the war can you identify any other trends related with gas prices?
5. Based on your findings, what will happen to gas prices in the next 10, 20 and 30 years from now?
There might be a list of sub-questions that will be asked as well.
After students have asked questions related to the topic, they will need to decide a number of things, including:
Type(s) of Data
Defining Important Terms
Defining Trend Line: a graphical representation of a statistical trend or pattern. For example, if time spent studying increases, grades will also increase. Therefore, the slope will be positive.
Students will be using numerical data, spreadsheets, Excel tools, and mathematical thought processs. They will be able to use these items to calculate trend lines & their corresponding equations.
Data will be placed in a spreadsheet so that students will be able to manipulate it for their exploration. Students can use tools in Excel to make graphs, find trend lines, equations for the trend lines, etc. Students can use all these tools to analyze the data.
There is often a giant leap from defining the type(s) of data desired and actually finding the data. Providing guidance to students in finding the necessary data may be necessary.
Here are the links to find gasoline prices for the years1979 to present:
Raw data/information usually has to be manipulated before it can answer any questions. Students might be unaware of how data can best be manipulated, so teacher guidance may be appropriate.1. Transfer data to a spreadsheet
2. Eliminate data we do not need
3. Use graphing tools of Excel draw a graph representing the prices from 1979 to 2003
4. Use Excel tools to enter trend line & find formula for trend line of graph
5. To get a more recent representation graph data from 1989-2003
6. Once again use tools to enter trend lie & find equation
7. To analyze what effect the first gulf war had on the price draw graph representing data from 1990-1991
8. Draw graph representing when the prices were rising, because of the first war:
9. Use Excel tools to enter trend line & find formula for trend line of graph
10. Draw graph representing when the prices were decreasing, after the war
11. Use Excel tools to enter trend line & find formula for trend line of graph
12. To analyze more recent dates and effects of the current war graph data from 2002 to the present
13. Draw graph representing the increasing prices due to the current war
14. Use Excel tools to enter trend line & find formula for trend line of graph
15. Draw graph representing the decreasing trend due to the current state of the war
No result is meaningful unless communicated appropriately. Discussion of findings should be supported. There may or may not be definitive answers to the questions students raised.
Answers often lead to new questions, starting the inquiry cycle over again.
List here follow up questions students might have and wish to
investigate at a later time.