Which plant should we close?

This real-life scenario uses business information to make decisions. Students will need to decide what mathematics to use to enable them to make sense of the information provided and answer the question about which plant should be shut down, with reasons. Having selected a plant to close down, students can be asked to consider: ‘Where would you move that plant’s current production to?’

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Overview of task

This real-life scenario uses business information to make decisions. Students will need to decide what mathematics to use to enable them to make sense of the information provided and answer the question about which plant should be shut down, with reasons. Having selected a plant to close down, students can be asked to consider: ‘Where would you move that plant’s current production to?’

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Strand(s):

Number; Statistics; Graphs (possibly)

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Prior knowledge

Mean, median, mode, upper and lower quartiles, box plots. Percentages and percentage change.

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Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

  • AQA
  • C&G
  • Eduqas
  • Pearson / Edexcel
  • OCR

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Suggested approaches

The task is suitable for group work, with opportunity for collaboration, discussion, debate and presentation of decision with reasons.

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Resources/documentation

  • Teacher notes
  • Data handout

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Relevant digital technologies

The use of spreadsheets is recommended to handle the information and generate statistics.

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Possible extensions

  • Investigate: ‘What happens if...?’
  • Students could devise their own questions based on the data.

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Acknowledgement

Resource developed by Jacqueline Mickiewicz at the Milton Keynes Academy, with thanks to Nampak Ltd for the data and Paul Ginnis for the ‘consensus’ idea.