Connecting Industry to Math Instruction (CIMI) Activities

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Considering professional development for your math faculty on integrating industry contextual lessons into your curriculum? Contact Jay Martin at [email protected] for more information.


Loads of steel

Students use algebra to determine the thickness of steel plates that need to be fabricated in order to ensure construction is structurally sound and economically efficient.

Quality water flow

Is a stormwater management system needed? CLH Design specializes in school site development and is contracted to develop stormwater management plans for the construction of South Lakes Elementary School.


Students examine how environmental engineers use matrices and regression modeling to manage the cost of waste disposal at their manufacturing facility. Students will also look at forecasts for future waste production to examine expenditures associated with disposal, as well as impact on environmental certifications.


Students design a flight plan and the number of images needed to collect data from a landslide in western North Carolina that wiped out a mile of roadway.

Steel consequences

Students compare, analyze and interpret steel fabrication and erection data in verbal, tabular, graphical and algebraic forms.

Road drainage

Students determine the number of inlets needed throughout the project site of the proposed four-lane highway to ensure a safe 8-foot spread for the width of discharge.


Cool your chickens

Students use basic algebra to determine the pulley diameters required to obtain a specific speed of shaft rotation, and they use geometry to determine the correct size of a clean-in-place tank.

Breathe easy

Students use algebra and geometry to determine the outside air requirements and heating loads required for building design.

Keep up the pressure

Students work on an engineering project to consider the height of a water storage tank and its relationship to water pressure, the weight of the tank and the capacity of the ground beneath it to support the structure.

Exit strategy: Means of egress

Students interpret and apply building codes to determine the number of exits needed for a commercial space and the minimum distance between exits. Students will need to convert units, find the area of irregular shapes, apply a formula to determine occupant load and use the Pythagorean theorem.


Matrix logistics

Students use matrices to determine if they have the supplies required to build a hydra rack.


Controlling the flow

Students use mathematical modeling to determine the size of the pump needed to move wastewater to a treatment facility.


Mind your tolerance

Students use statistics to determine which inhaler canisters are out of tolerance.

Vital few

Students learn how to create a Pareto chart to analyze why a system isn’t working and apply the 80/20 rule to make recommendations for improving processes.

Be the statistician

Students use mathematical modeling to determine the ideal temperature for virus growth and vaccine production, and they also use statistics to compare the efficacy of two drugs.

Automotive adhesives

Students use statistics to determine change over time of an adhesive, investigate potential causes and develop a potential solution.

Virus maximus

Students use 1-Proportion Z-test to determine which strains are significantly different from the control. They will then calculate which of the statically significant virus strains produce the most virus cells.


Harnessing the sun

Students use right triangle trigonometry along with the Law of Sines and Law of Cosines to determine the placement of solar panels on a flat roof that will yield the maximum energy output.

Building setbacks

Students act as a developer and make sure they are maximizing the number of apartments provided while complying with the city's municipal code and the protected areas nearby.

Roadway design: Long and winding road

Students examine how curves in roads are designed and how speed limits are set based on the amount of curvature and banking that exists in the design.Students will also look at redesigning an existing road for safe travel at a high speed.