In my ever constant, and increasingly obscure, quest to pose real life curiosities and problems that I come across throughout the week, I’ve created a video story problem centered around those tiny little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body lotions that hotels offer their guests. I was staying at a hotel near the Detroit airport last week while producing some pilot video content for a new Michigan Department of Education grant, and I couldn’t help but wonder just how much shampoo a hotel must go through every year. It’s amazing what you can distract yourself with while sitting in an airport hotel with planes threatening to slam into your room every few minutes.
The question started simply enough, but I decided to add a few extra layers as I became more curious….and yes, despite the bad acting I really was curious about all of the questions posed in this video.
The math questions came easily enough, even if it was a stretch to believe that the hotel would have someone staying in it every single night. What I’m more curious about is the open ended question at the end about the environmental impact the production, distribution, and disposal of all those bottles has. If you were to use this in your classroom, what questions might you ask in addition to the ones I posed?