Compound Interest: The Ninth Wonder of the World

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Content Area 

In this webquest, students will investigate the powerful effects of compound interest.
This unit is designed for 9th through 12th grade students to meet information and technology literacy standards across content areas. It may be adapted for use by younger students by selecting Web  sites aimed at upper elementary or middle school students.

Resources Needed
Lab access to the Web with one workstation per student
Presentation equipment with a Web connection
Worksheets/outline for Tasks 1-5 to be completed by students
Entry Level Skills and Knowledge 
Students should have advanced knowledge of searching and navigating the Web. 
Standards and Learning Outcomes
Apply basic communication skills (e.g. reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

Make decisions and solve problems by specifying goals, identifying resources and constraints, considering impacts, implementing a plan of action, and evaluating results.

Demonstrate the ability to combine ideas or information, make connections between unrelated ideas, and organize and present information in alternate format.

Communicate ideas that support learning objective.  

Acquires and evaluates information

Organizes and maintains information (worksheet)

Interprets and communicates information

Uses computer to process information

New York State Learning Standards:

Mathematical Analysis:
Use inductive reasoning to construct, evaluate, and validate conjectures and arguments, recognizing that patterns and relationships can assist in explaining and extending mathematical phenomena.

Apply mathematical knowledge to solve real-world problems and problems that arise from the investigation of mathematical ideas, using representations such as pictures, charts, and tables.


Scientific Inquiry:

Formulate questions independently with the aid of references appropriate for guiding the search for explanations of everyday observations.

Construct explanations independently for natural phenomena, especially by proposing preliminary visual models of phenomena.

Represent, present, and defend their proposed explanations of everyday observations so that they can be understood and assessed by others.

Design charts, tables, graphs and other representations of observations in conventional and creative ways to help them address their research question or hypothesis.

Interpret the organized data to answer the research question or hypothesis and to gain insight into the problem.

Use graphical, statistical, and presentation software to present project to fellow classmates.


Mathematical Reasoning:

Apply a variety of reasoning strategies.

Make conclusions based on inductive reasoning.


Add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions, decimals, and integers.

Explore and use the operations dealing with roots and powers.

Use grouping symbols (parentheses) to clarify the intended order of operations.

Demonstrate an understanding of operational algorithms (procedures for adding, subtracting, etc.).


ISTE (International Standards for Technology in Education) NETS-S (National Educational Technology Standards for Students)

1. Creativity and Innovation

Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:

a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.

b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

c. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.

d. identify trends and forecast possibilities.

2. Communication and Collaboration

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:

a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.

b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.

c. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.

d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

3. Research and Information Fluency

Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:

a. plan strategies to guide inquiry.

b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.

c. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.

d. process data and report results.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:

a. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.

b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.

c. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.

d. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

5. Digital Citizenship

Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Students:

a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

b. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.

c. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

d. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

6. Technology Operations and Concepts

Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students:

a. understand and use technology systems.

b. select and use applications effectively and productively.

c. troubleshoot systems and applications.

d. transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.





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