Did you ever wonder how much it costs every time we change clocks for Daylight Saving Time? We all know the personal cost the next morning when we drag ourselves out of bed, feel lethargic all day long and spend the first week feeling just out of sink with the world.
It turns out it costs this country between 350 and 450 million dollars. In addition, there are three areas where the cost is most prevalent.
1. Increase in heart attacks immediately after the change.
2. Increase in injuries in certain professions.
3. Loss of productivity.
So what type of activities can we provide students with just to see the real life implications of the change rather than just thinking of it as getting one more hour of sleep or losing an hour of sleep.
1. Figure out the per capita cost of the change for adults 18 and over. Although $400 million sounds like a lot, how much is it actually per person.
2. Prepare an infographic on the cost of the increased number of heart attacks, the medical cost of the increased injuries, etc.
3. Create an interactive map on google. Huffington Post has a great graphic which shows that the economic costs are higher in the east vs the west. Students could research why that happens.
4. The New York Times has a wonderful article that gives more specific details on the number of injuries in certain professions. For instance injuries increased by 6 percent when clocks moved forward but in terms of work day losses, it is more like 67%. Imagine researching the normal number, adding the 6% and creating a graph.
5. ZD net published a great article on the cost involved in IT (Informational Technology) resulting from the time change. Its actually higher than I could have predicted. This information could be used in an infographic, a presentation, or a chart.
6. In the same article, they published the alleged energy savings from California and per the Federal Government but do these savings out weight other costs? That topic alone would make a great topic for a project. Perhaps it would be possible to work with the English department to set up a debate "Should we eliminate daylight saving time?" while the students in math find the data to support both sides.
One thing I did read explains why the number of injuries increase on Mondays. Apparently people put off doing anything till Sunday night/Monday morning to readjust their bodies so they lose on average 40 minutes of nightly sleep.