In my math class we have started a large project. We are analyzing lunch data collected over the past month. Originally my ideas was to find a project the students could do some measures of central tendency with that would be better than textbook questions. At the same time (not exactly the same time, I don't multi-think any better than I multi-task) I was pondering our lunch program and the number of my students that always took the first choice for lunch. They often chose it without even knowing what the choice was.
I went to the lunch secretary and asked her to keep track of the information for what students lunches the students chose daily. Every day for the past month she ran a copy of the number of students by grade level that picked each choice. Today we started breaking it down.
The first thing we are doing is identifying what choices are repeated most often. Every Wednesday is chicken patty day, every Friday is pizza. Yes, it is as boring as it sounds. Tomorrow we will start working on finding out which choice was picked most often.
The students are already thinking about other ways they can address issues with the lunch program. This could end up being a very large project.