Caring for the environment is a hot classroom topic. While I'm sure teachers can find all kinds of curricula on the subject, here's a current events activity I'm making up as I go along. First, learn about GM's Hybrid Bus. Then, using some math projections, calculate the hybrid bus's impact on the environment.
Here's a great place to start: http://fyi.gmblogs.com/2006/04/has_your_city_gone_hybrid.html
This blog post talks about how much fuel hybrid buses can save each year. The fact is stated this way, "In fact, if America's nine largest cities replaced their transit fleets — totaling 13,000 buses — with GM's hybrid buses, the cities would save 40 million gallons of fuel each year — a greater savings than 500,000 small hybrid vehicles would produce."
Just how many math problems can a teacher extract from just that sentence?? It gets better! Someone posted a response suggesting that school districts could replace their current diesel buses with these hybrid buses. Can you calculate the fuel savings for your district's bus fleet if they went fully hybrid?
Wow. Social commentary, involvement in social media, all wrapped up in environmental science and pinned together with math.
It's amazing what you learn at every turn. Happy computing!