This is a great topic for exploring mathematical ideas as they relate to financial contexts. Salaries and take home pay is one great applications, students are so often surprised by how the two compare and this spreadsheet is a great tool to explore that idea. Students also might be interested to explore how inflation works and to compare salaries or prices from one era to another and we have a number of great math tools in that area as well. Students might also be interested in thinking about salaries from the prospective of starting their own businesses and the associate costs and benefits of such endeavors. This problem about the changes in postal rates is a great tool for looking at percentage increase and presents opportunities to represent rates of change over time:
Highlighted Problem: Postal Rates:
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Over the years, the cost to mail the most common type of letter in the United States has gone up. The price is scheduled to increase again by 1 cent on May 12, 2008.
The National Postal Museum lists these past postal rates: