A Math WebQuest designed for grades 7-9


Your Dad is being required to open a regional office for his company in either Seattle, San Diego, Washington, D.C. or Miami.  Dad doesn't have the time to do all the research on which location would be the best financially, so he has requested each family member to help.


Each family member is to take one city and do research on the cost of living in that location.  By using the links given below, you are to determine the average cost of purchasing a home, city and state taxes, yearly property tax, car insurance, electricity and the annual college tuition at the University of each city.  Base your findings on a salary of $100,000.  After finding your results, determine a monthly cost.  For the purchase of a home, you'll need to use the mortgage calculator to determine monthly payments.  Other figures will need to be averaged by 12.


Form a group of 4, each taking the role of one of the family members:  Dad, Mom, 17 year old son, 13 year old daughter.

After determining your role, choose the city you want to research.  

Print the worksheet found in this Quest.

Search the links below for all information needed for your city.

For an insurance quote, you will need to email any agent suggested from the State Farm link below.  Be sure to introduce yourself, explain your project, and request a quote based on the information given on your worksheet.  (If you need any help with this task, please see your teacher.)

Complete the top part of your worksheet using your findings.

Now you need to calculate monthly averages for certain categories.  Fill in the second half of your worksheet.

After totaling your final calculations for monthly expenses, collect data from each member of the family to fill in an Excel spreadsheet.

Create a spreadsheet including all the categories and all 4 cities.

Using your spreadsheet, create a graphical image.  It may be a bar graph or pie graph.  (Your teacher might give extra points if you do both.)

Draw a conclusion from your images and see if all 4 family members agree on the best choice for your move!

Be very thorough!  Dad is counting on each member to do his/her very best!


http://www.statefarm.com/email.htm - Locate insurance agent for your state.  Email agent for quote.

http://moving.com/ - Go to Loan Center.  Then Find mortgage calculator to determine monthly mortgage.

http://moving.com/   - First locate Neighborhood, then Tools, then Single City Profile.  It will give you much of the information needed to fill in your worksheet.

http://admissions.ucsd.edu/fa2.html - Univ. of CA at San Diego

http://www.washington.edu/students/sfs/sao/tuition/ - Univ. of Washington at Seattle

http://www.admit.umd.edu/money/ - Univ. of Maryland (for Washington, D.C.)

http://www.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/ - Univ. of Miami

And don't forget to print the worksheet .



Advanced (3 pts.)

Satisfactory (2 pts.)

Incomplete (0-1 pt.)


All calculations done correctly More than half of the calculations done correctly Less than half of the calculations done correctly  
Information is gathered independently w/no assistance Information is gathered w/little assistance from group or teacher Information is gathered w/a lot of assistance from group or teacher  
All data on spreadsheet was entered correctly More than half of the data was entered correctly Less than half of the data was entered correctly  
Formula was accurately entered and copied Formula was entered but not copied correctly Formula was not entered  
Format includes 2 colors and 2 fonts Format includes 2 colors and one font or 2 fonts and one color Format includes only 1 font and 1 color  
Graph accurately displays all information Graph accurately displays most information Graph accurately displays less than half the information  


Very Good

Above Average



15-18 pts. (A)

12-14 pts. (B)

9-11 pts. (C)

8 or below


Making a decision to move involves more than just choosing a place you like, such as the ocean or the Capitol.  It involves financial planning to make sure the move is wise and affordable.  That planning takes time and research.  With the vast resources available on the internet, this information is at our fingertips and can help us make an informed, educated decision.


#1)  This WebQuest is designed to give students a practical application of cost analysis.  It is assumed that students already have experience creating simple spreadsheets and making graphs.  If not, please spend time instructing them on these skills before proceeding with this WebQuest.

#2)  If you want to lessen the content of this Quest, eliminate one or more of the search requirements such as university tuition or have each group work on only one city and distribute the tasks within the group.  For an additional challenge, have students determine the cost of the move, using U-Haul or Ryder, beginning from a predetermined residence.

Created and designed by Sheryl L. Dunn, Summer 2001