Population at 7 Billion – What PBL can we facilitate?

Are we teaching interesting and engaging ways to represent data?  Are we representing real data that is interesting and engaging with graphs?

Have you seen this?


When did the world’s population reach 1 billion? 2 billion? 3 billion?… (you see where I’m going, right?)

Can we graph this data to see if there is a pattern?  Will the pattern from the data be similar to the graph in the BBC video above?  Can we find a mathematical function that will mathematically model the data?  Can the mathematical model find or predict:

  • How many people had been alive on the day you were born?
  • How many people were alive on your birthday?
  • When will the earth’s population reach 8 billion?  9 billion?

Using the BBC’s News World article The world at seven billion, I entered my birthdate to find:

I also entered AS‘s birth date.

  • What could cause a decline in population?
  • Can we sustain a population of 11 billion?

What questions will our learners have?  Can we team with others to develop integrated studies lessons?  What intriguing driving questions can we craft to facilitate learning and questioning with our learners?

Thanks to a retweet from @gcouroswe can read Mrs. Daub’s Dudes and Dudettes to learn how Mrs. Daub, aka @4444Charlie, and her grade fours predicted when the population reached 7 billion.


  1. This is really cool. I saw the site, but I didn’t think about all the cool mathematical modeling that could be done by taking sampling birthdays from some family members.


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