Video Story Problem – Hours & Hours of Snowblowing!

Jan 18, 2018 by

It’s 2018, there’s a ridiculous amount of snow swirling around the United States, and I haven’t blogged in a couple of months….that must mean it’s time for a video story problem!

I’ve complained about snow in previous video story problems, but for this one it wasn’t so much complaining as it was…..oh hell, it was complaining. I’ve been removing snow from my driveway almost everyday for the last four weeks (often multiple times a day) and the grind finally got to me. I got my camera out, put on my snow pants, and headed outside to begrudgingly tackle the snow. I wanted to turn that negative energy into something productive, so after nearly 55 minutes of snow blowing I immediately sat down in front of my computer and slapped the whole story together. The super lazy “webcam selfie video” is evidence of my haste to get this video out.

The problem itself is rather simplistic; estimation given some pretty easy round numbers and a few vague ones. The end goal is to produce a rough guesstimate of how many hours per week I spend removing snow from my driveway in the Winter. That means students could defend a wide range of answers….which is sort of what we want students doing in math anyways, right? You could even extend this video, and provide some more realistic numbers, by digging through the National Weather Service’s Snowfall Analysis website to determine actual snowfalls and how often I would likely need to snowplow (OMG, cross-content problem solving? WHAT?! That’s awesome!).

If anyone does use this video, especially any readers in climates that don’t typically see snowfall (I’m looking at you Southern California and most of the U.S.) I’d love to hear responses from your students. What did they like about the video, what were they able to figure out? Did I give them enough data? And what about friends north of the border in Canada? Would this be a wimpy amount of time devoted to snow removal?

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