Whenever possible, it is obvious that gathering data from the "real world" outside the math classroom or textbook is a preferable way to teach students the utility of mathematics. This page shows one such lesson that I have used in my work, especially when teaching the topic of "percent increase".

Before you read below, there are a few background things you should know.

  1. POLLO CAMPERO is the Salvadoran equivalent of Kentucky Fried Chicken. [It's pronounced: POH-yo kahm-PAIR-o.]

  2. The prices cited in the chart are in Salvadoran currency, colones. The exchange rate at the time the data was collected was around ¢8.72 = $1 U.S.

  3. In the bottom part of the chart the word "medallones" means the same as what some stores call "nuggets", or little pieces of boneless chicken patties.

OKAY? Bon apetit!

Price-per-piece, Percents
& Pollo Campero

A popular eating place in our country is POLLO CAMPERO. And a popular way to enjoy their chicken is by "carry out boxes". But have you been watching the way prices have been going up, Up, UP in recent years? Here is a chart that shows some interesting information.

SizeJuly 93Aug 93Jan 94Jan 95Dec 95
   2   8.35   8.90   9.75  10.20  11.25
   625.0526.7029.25  30.55  33.70
   937.5540.0043.80  45.75  50.50
 1561.4065.5071.75  75.00  82.75
  6   8.35   8.90   9.8010.2512.25


There are two basic math questions that normally are asked in a situation like this.

  1. For any given box size, what is the cost-per-piece?

  2. For any given two time periods, what is the percent increase in the prices?

But if you will study the numbers carefully, you will find some other interesting patterns. Or you will possibly dream up some questions of your own creation.


Postscript (8/15/99)

Since the original document was composed for use in my classroom, I have not taken the time to investigate any price changes in this franchise, that is, until now. Look at these prices now nearly four years later! The December 1995 prices are repeated to make comparing easier.

SizeDec 95Aug 99
   2  11.25  14.85
   6  33.70  44.00
   9  50.50  66.00
 15  82.75109.00
  6 12.25 15.50
2037.50 45.75

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