Over the period of several years, I would regularly assign a project to my Geometry class which took a while and required a variety of math skills and yet was a real world assignment.
The premise is simply that their parents won a million dollars so they've decided to build a new house. So they get to design their dream bedroom exactly as they want.
For the assignment, they must do the following.
1. Create a floor plan of the room including the closet, bathroom, home theater or even their own basketball court. The floor plan must be properly scaled.
2. They must create drawings showing the four walls and the ceiling showing where all the doors, windows, movie screens, etc.
3. They must calculate the cost of finishing the room with the flooring, walls, and ceiling. They include lights, fridges, stoves, basketball hoops, etc. When they calculate the amount of paint, they have to know what a quart or gallon covers so they can round up appropriately. I provide a nice sheet with every possible item I can think of from primer, to a matte finish, to gloss for the bathroom. Now I send them to websites like Lowes to find what they are interested but I assign a percent to add to the cost to cover shipping out to the Bush
4. They create a final write-up of the room itself and an estimate for finishing the room.
Since I last did the project, iPads have arrived in the classroom. I would change this assignment slightly by downloading a couple of apps such as one designed to create the floor plan of any house or use free web based software. Some of the apps or software allow the user to create 3 dimensional views and populating the room with furniture, etc.
There are free apps out there designed to allow contractors, etc to create estimates for jobs that could be downloaded and used by the students as part of the project. Tie all the parts together via a slide show, prezi or other program.
This is very real and uses lots of real life math. This also provides students with the understanding of what is involved in creating a room to meet someone else's vision much like an architect or interior designer. This could be varied to design a store, or any other building.