Oscar Ramirez, an employee at the Whole Nine Yards Construction & Landscaping Company, has been assigned to manage the remodel of Mayor Lawrence’s family estate, which locals call "Lawrence Lair." One member of his team is his nephew, Martin Fuentes, who is in need of both summer work and a mentor. After showing Fuentes the machine he’s been engineering, Ramirez explains positive and negative (signed) numbers to his nephew. Then Fuentes accompanies Ramirez to his first meeting with all the contractors for the Lawrence Lair project, where Ramirez learns that there are two potential setbacks. Fuentes takes the opportunity to try to help his uncle by crunching the numbers to find solutions. This case is designed to be taught in a math literacy course for non-MBA audiences. Although it can be used alone, it was created as the second in a module of five cases total. It builds on the learnings in “A Universal Language” (UVA-G-0652) and is followed by "The Living Roof" (UVA-G-0654).
This case is intended to align with the topics under the following domains in the Common Core State Standards Mathematics Standards: Ratios & Proportional Relationships, the Number System, and Expressions & Equations. In particular, it introduces students to the following: - Operations with signed numbers (i.e., positive and negative numbers) - Operations with percentages, fractions, and ratios - Order of operations - Evaluating expressions