This learning activity contains seven math problems. All the problems are based in reality (they are "authentic"), in that they are precisely the questions encountered by the POP team members as they get ready for this expedition. These problems have many parts, just as do many math problems that other workers encounter. The only mathematical operations needed are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The problems are appropriate for group problem solving. A variety of problem-solving strategies can be used.
The subject of all these problems is the schedule and the process by which the experimental materials are cleaned. The terms may make the problems seem more complicated than they really are. It is helpful if learners are able to view the images that go along with the problems (see learner page).
It is important to emphasize that these real-world math problems have serious consequences if the calculations are wrong. The materials have to be ready to be loaded onto the ship when it sails with the scientists for Palmer Station. When scientists are in Antarctica, they cant go out and buy the necessary materials for the experiments. The team has to get it right and be ready to work "on the ice."
The first three problems deal with cleaning the PUF plugs. The next four problems deal with cleaning the XAD column material. This image of Micheles lab sheet shows her calculations and answers to problems 1, 2, and 4.