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EDUCATION with Student News

Learning Activity: The price of gas

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(CNN Student News) -- Students will learn about the many factors that can influence the cost of gasoline.


Point out to students that many factors can influence the cost of gasoline, including the price of crude oil, the refining of crude oil, the distribution and marketing of gasoline, taxes and service station markups. Group students and assign each group one of these variables. Have each group conduct research to learn about its variable and why it impacts the price of gas at the pumps. Have groups prepare charts that depict their findings and share their research with the class.

EXTENSION: Challenge students to determine how much they would spend in gasoline per year to drive their favorite cars. Have students locate the fuel economy for city and highway driving of some of their favorite cars. Then, direct each student to a fuel cost calculator, and have the student plug in the appropriate numbers (including the local average price of gas per gallon) and retrieve the calculated costs of fuel for one year. Share students' findings for the different makes and models that they have chosen. Ask students: Were you surprised at what you would pay for a year's worth of gasoline at the current price? What would you be willing to do to reduce this cost? Discuss.

Correlated Standards

Economics Standards

Standard 7: Markets - Price and Quantity Determination

Students will understand that markets exist when buyers and sellers interact. This interaction determines market prices and thereby allocates scarce goods and services.

Standard 8: Role of Price in Market System

Students will understand that prices send signals and provide incentives to buyers and sellers. When supply or demand changes, market prices adjust, affecting incentives.

TheEconomics America National Standardsexternal link ( are published by the National Council on Economic Educationexternal link (

National Educational Technology Standards for Students

Standard 5: Technology problem-solving and decision-making tool.

*Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.

*Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.

The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Studentsexternal link (, published by the International Society for Technology in Educationexternal link (

Social Studies

Standard VII: Production, Distribution and Consumption

Students will learn about how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

The Curriculum Standards for Social Studiesexternal link ( are published by the National Council for Social Studiesexternal link (


oil production, gas prices, fuel, diesel, OPEC


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