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Moving Straight Ahead: Project 1: Wasted Water Experiment

Students collect data about the rate at which a leaking faucet loses water.  Students make predictions based on their data. 


  • Timer such as a watch, smart phone stopwatch, online stopwatch 
  • Cup – Styrofoam or paper. A small hole will need to be poked into the bottom of the cup so it will drip. A paper clip makes a good sized hole. 
  • Clear measuring container – liquid measuring cup or graduated cylinder 
  • Water  
  • Graph paper or online graphing tool 
  • Labsheet (optional) 


  • Students might be able to use faucet at home. With permission, they could turn on the faucet to create a slow leak and catch the water in a measuring container. You can suggest that the water be used to water a plant or animal so the water is not wasted. 
  • If students do not have a measuring container to collect the dripping water, you can suggest that they use a container where students can determine the fraction of the container being filled. 
  • Additional Questions can be asked after students have collected their data. 



Ratios and Proportional relationships 6.RP

Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.

3. Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.

a. Make tables of equivalent ratios relating quantities with whole- number measurements, find missing values in the tables, and plot the pairs of values on the coordinate plane. Use tables to compare ratios.

Expressions and Equations 6.EE

Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables.

9. Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another; write an equation to express one quantity, thought of as the dependent variable, in terms of the other quantity, thought of as the independent variable. Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables using graphs and tables, and relate these to the equation. For example, in a problem involving motion at constant speed, list and graph ordered pairs of distances and times, and write the equation d = 65t to represent the relationship between distance and time.

Grade 7

Ratios and Proportional relationships 7.RP

Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

2. Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.

a. Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship, e.g., by testing for equivalent ratios in a table or graphing on a coordinate plane and observing whether the graph is a straight line through the origin.

c. Represent proportional relationships by equations.

For example, if total cost t is proportional to the number n of items purchased at a constant price p, the relationship between the total cost and the number of items can be expressed as t = pn.

Grade 8

Expressions and Equations 8.EE

Understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations.

5. Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph. Compare two different proportional relationships represented in different ways.

For example, compare a distance-time graph to a distance-time equation to determine which of two moving objects has greater speed.

Functions 8.F

Define, evaluate, and compare functions.

1. Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each input exactly one output. The graph of a function is the set of ordered pairs consisting of an input and the corresponding output.

3. Interpret the equation y = mx + b as defining a linear function, whose graph is a straight line; give examples of functions that are not linear.

For example, the function A = s2 giving the area of a square as a function of its side length is not linear because its graph contains the points (1,1), (2,4) and (3,9), which are not on a straight line.

Use functions to model relationships between quantities.

4. Construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities. Determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship or from two (x, y) values, including reading these from a table or from a graph. Interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in terms of the situation it models, and in terms of its graph or a table of values.

5. Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.

Statistics and Probability 8.SP

Investigate patterns of association in bivariate data.

1. Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities. Describe patterns such as clustering, outliers, positive or negative association, linear association, and nonlinear association.

2. Know that straight lines are widely used to model relationships between two quantitative variables. For scatter plots that suggest a linear association, informally fit a straight line, and informally assess the model fit by judging the closeness of the data points to the line.

3. Use the equation of a linear model to solve problems in the context of bivariate measurement data, interpreting the slope and intercept.

For example, in a linear model for a biology experiment, interpret a slope of 1.5 cm/hr as meaning that an additional hour of sunlight each day is associated with an additional 1.5 cm in mature plant height.