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Linear Programming: Optimizing Media Reach (Algebra 1)

This unit brings together two disparate areas: creating the best possible publicity for a community event and the algebra of linear programming.
 
Students who study this unit may also be preparing to stage an art show (Foundations in Visual Arts and Media, Unit 7: Art Show!). They’re developing promotional materials for the show and they want as many people as possible to come to their event. But what will bring in their audience—posters, newspaper ads, radio spots? How can they get the best bang for the buck?
 
Enter linear programming. Students may be surprised to find that mathematics can help them find answers to their publicity challenge.
 
This unit is built around a central problem: maximizing media reach to promote a youth media festival. Students are given a fictitious advertising budget and information about the cost and potential reach of newspaper and radio ads. Students determine how best to use these two different media to reach the greatest number of people for the least cost.
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