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NIKEiD.com allows users to customize their own pair of shoes. In this lesson, students use the fundamental counting principle to calculate how many color combinations are possible for the popular Nike Free Run running shoe. The answer? A LOT!

Sounds great…but is it? Students learn about the negative consequences of having too much choice, from “paralysis-by-analysis” to a loss of satisfaction. When we go shopping, how much is too much?

Students will

  • Calculate the number of possible color combinations for the Nike Free Run running shoe
  • Analyze the advantages & disadvantages of having too many options, including “paralysis-by-analysis”
  • Given a maximum number of possible combinations, modify the number of color options for each component
  • Describe strategies companies use to help consumers make choices when faced with many options

Before you begin

It will be helpful if students are already familiar with describing sample spaces using organized lists or tree diagrams, and have developed an understanding of the Fundamental Counting Principle from simpler sample spaces. This lesson is an application of the Fundamental Counting Principle with a large sample space.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices

Additional Materials

  • Colored pencils

Shoutouts

NIKE