Thursday, December 12, 2013

What Am I Eating? Excel Final Project

 What Am I Eating?  Excel Final Project  

Ever wonder how much fat is contained in the food that you eat?  There are some pretty neat calculators that we can access online to help us track the nutrition and not so nutritious contents of a whole host of foods that we eat. Food-O-Meter

One, in particular is available at  It's called the WebMD Food-O-Meter.  Another great nutritional site is  You can use these sites to get the nutritional data that you will need to complete this project.

You can find a link with directions for the Excel part of this project on the online Google Drive at What Am I Eating_Excel Sample Just click on the link. 

Instructional Video Tutorials - click on the links below:

Final Project Intro - overview

Step 1 - How to select 10 foods for the final project

Step 2 - How to set up the Excel table 

Steps 3, 4 and 5 - How to sort a table and create a stacked bar chart
                           using Excel

Step 6 - How to convert calories to pounds; how to calculate your Daily Target Caloric Intake (DTCI) to maintain your current body weight level.

Step 7 - Getting to know Food Groups; create a list of 10 healthy foods.

Your grade for this project will be based on your answers to Steps 1 -7 in this  packet, the spreadsheet and the 1-page paper you will type.  You should save your spreadsheet as WhatAmIEating_FirstNameLastName.xls, and your typed answers, including the 1-page document as WhatAmIEating_FirstNameLastName.doc and send them to me via Gmail at     This project will represent half your grade for the next marking period.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

4 Formulas You Should Know Cold

Here is the link for the Excel spreadsheet entitled
4 Formulas You Should Know.

1) Percentage Change (% delta) = (New - Old)/ Old

2) % Markup = Old x (1 + % MrkUp)

     % Discount = Old x (1 - % Discount)

3) FV = PV x (1 + r ) ^t

4) PV = FV /(1 + r)^t

Please click on the link and complete the exercises in the example section.  Send your answers as an attached file saved as Excel4Formulas_FirstNameLastName_Date.xls to my Gmail address at

Remember to ask for help if you need to solve these problems.  -R.Wiegand

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Excel Future Value - Compounding Revisited

In the Penny Puzzle exercise, we saw how a penny that doubles each day for a month can amount to some serious cashish.   Did you know that there's a formula that investors use to calculate the future value of an investment that grows at a continual rate?  It's called (not surprisingly), the Future Value formula, or FV.
The equation for FV is as follows:

             FV = PV x (1 + r) ^t               

             where PV is the original amount of money invested (what you start with),
             r is the growth rate over time (usually a yearly or annual growth rate),
             and t is the number of periods that the investment compounds at (usually # of years)
    1) Can you write an Excel formula that will calculate the End of Day $ value on the last day of 
        the month (i.e. May 31st) in the case of the penny puzzle?            

In the real world, however, investments never have such alarming growth rates.  If ever you should come across an investment opportunity that promised you those kind of returns, you should probably run fast because it's more likely to be a scam than legitimate. 

In practice, annual investment returns are more likely to be anywhere from 2% - 10%.  Home prices (i.e. real estate), has historically shown growth rates of around 4% (without a mortgage) to about 15% with a mortgage - in stable economic conditions.   

Meanwhile, traditional investment allocations for retirement accounts typically get anywhere from 5% - 11%  
    2)   Let's try to calculate how much your investment in a home would be over 20 years, assuming 
          a growth rate of 6%.  Here's what the spreadsheet might look like:

Can you graph the value of your home over the course of these 20 years?
And, can you come up with a formula cell that can come up with the same answer as in the long method? 

    3)   Finally, let's calculate the Future Value of an investment of $10,000 that earns 7% per year for 40 years.  Can you come up with a one-cell calculation for this using the FV formula?

And that's it.  You've just completed the Excel compound growth or Future Value assignment.
Remember to Save Your Spreadsheet  using File/Save As     ExcelFV_FirstNameLastName     and attach it to a GMail that you will send to me at 
Remember, if you get stuck with creating the table in Excel or whatever, please ask for help.  You can also come by during lunch period for one-one-one or small group assistance.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Internet Research Detective - Mission 4

Internet Research Detective – Mission 4
Brick and mortar vs. Online Retail Sales

Your mission is to research the growing importance of online retail sales vs. traditional brick and mortar sales.  Please note which web sites or online sources you used to do your research.  A good site for MLA format is

1)    Use the table below to record your answers and observations:      

Brick and Mortar Sales
Online Sales



$ Value of Sales in 2013

% of Sales Overall in 2013

Sources used (MLA format) : 

      2)    Do you think that online sales will ever over-take traditional brick and mortar sales in terms of the total $ value of sales in any given year?  Why or why not?

    3) After viewing the Amazon drone delivery system video and considering the potential for 
    this technological development to assist online sales companies as well as companies in 
    various industries, do you think this technology has a future in the real world?  Which 
    companies would this technology benefit most?  Briefly explain why or why not.

Copy and paste these questions into a Word document file.  Then save your work as OnlineSales_FirstNameLastName.doc and g-mail it to me at     Don’t forget to Cc yourself (send it to your own e-mail address as well) as evidence that you submitted the work to me.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Excel Penny Puzzle and New Flag for Xytanium

Part 1)  In return for your valient service in battle during the war against the Flembots, King Coppernium gives you a choice for your reward. Option (A) is to receive 1 million dollars up front at the start of the month, this being the month of May. Option (B) is to receive 1 penny on May 1st, which doubles in value each day until the end of the month.With option B, you can't receive payment until May 31st. Which option would or should you choose?  Set up an Excel table and a formula to show why.

Also, create a line graph using Excel that shows the growth of the penny throughout the month of May.
It should look something like this:

Part 2)  Create the New Flag for Xytanium (a hypothetical new country on the map)!  Use Excel's graphic functions like changing color backgrounds and foregrounds, inserting shapes and text, inserting lines or pics with novel formatting (bevel, shadow, frames, etc.) functions.  Here's an example:

Remember to Save your work as an Excel Workbook file with your first and last name and then g-mail it to me as an attachment to 
Don’t forget to Cc yourself (send it to your own e-mail address as well).

If you have any questions about this assignment, please don't hesitate to ask!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Excel Intro Math Steps and Date & Time functions

Excel iconThis exercise has 2 parts.
Open up a new Excel workbook and create two spreadsheets (rename the first one "Steps" and the second "Date&Time").
You should now have 2 tabs at the bottom of the workbook.
Part 1 - Steps
In the "Steps" spreadsheet, the goal is to label a series of mathematical calculations (10 steps) as in the image below, beginning with a start number, which you should input at the top.  Highlight this input cell with a yellow background and place a thick border around it. This start number is a constant, it is not a formula cell All the 9 cells beneath this highlighted cell, however, (cells E4 to E12) are formula cells, not constants.  You should number the series of steps 1 through 10 from C3 to C12.  Can you find a starting number (cell E3) that will produce the same result at the end (cell E12)?  Try out different numbers in cell E3 to find out.   Your spreadsheet should look something like this:
Part 2 - Date and Time functions
In this spreadsheet, type in the questions "What time is it now?" in cell C3 and "What is today's date?" in cell C4.  To answer these questions using Excel, input the following formulas: key in  =NOW() in cell D3 to get the exact time of day.  Format cell D3 by right-clicking on it and format it as Format Cells/ Number/Time and choose the short time format as in the spreadsheet below.
To answer the second question, use the =TODAY() function (key it into cell D4).  Format this cell by right-clicking on D4 with FormatCells/Number/Date  and choose the short date format.  For the cell below it (D5), copy the cell formula from above and format the cell with the long date format.  (See the spreadsheet image below):
IntroExcelDate&Time top
Next, answer the 4 questions below using the =TODAY() function in the same spreadsheet.
IntroExcelDate&Time bottom
And that's it.  You've completed the second Excel assignment.
Remember to Save Your Spreadsheet  using File/Save As     IntroExcel_FirstNameLastName     and attach it to a GMail that you will send to me at 
Remember, if you get stuck with creating the table in Excel or whatever, please ask for help.  You can also come by during lunch period for one-one-one or small group assistance.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Technology Terms of the Week

                     Technology Terms/Sites of the Week

 Week of 10/28/13 – 11/01/13
Term, Site or Blog name
Why It’s Useful
China’s version of
Search the web using Chinese keywords
China’s version of Facebook
Building a friend or business network in China
China’s version of Amazon
2nd biggest consumer market in the world
China’s version of Ebay
2nd biggest consumer market in the world
Google tracks the number of keyword searches as a measure of popularity or interest
find out about the hottest trending searches on Google right NOW!
Google Chrome Web Store
Free web apps site for Chrome browser
Where you can get free apps useful only with the Google Chrome browser

Week of 11/04/13 – 11/08/13
Term, Site or Blog name
Why It’s Useful
Google’s web browser
Most popular browser
Internet Explorer (IE)
Microsoft’s web browser
2nd most popular browser
Mozilla’s web browser
3rd most popular browser – well-liked by html programmers
Search engine
Developed by Yahoo and mastered by Google as a means of finding info on the web
You can search for sites, articles, videos on the web using keyword
Google, Yahoo, and Bing
Top 3 search engines
You want to search for keywords with the most active and powerful algorithms

Week of 11/11/13 – 11/15/13

Term, Site or Blog name
Why It’s Useful
Google Maps
Google’s virtually worldwide online atlas for drivers, bikers and pedestrians
Get driving directions from points A to B, with real-time traffic updates, topography and street views  
A useful site for converting uppercase to lowercase text – but these functions are also available on Word and Excel
If you ever have to convert uppercase text to lowercase or vice versa, then this site is for you!
Get expert and community advice on raising children – health issues, cost calculators, fertility, and parental topics of concern
How much does it cost to raise a child in CT ages 0-18? With or w/o college?

Week of 11/25/13 – 11/29/13
Term, Site or Blog name
Why It’s Useful
Cyber Monday
The first Monday following Thanksgiving Day Weekend
Typically when online retailers offer incredible discount deals to start off the holiday buying season
Black Friday
The day following Thanksgiving, when brick and mortar stores offer huge sales to kick off holiday buying season
40% of sales traditionally occur during the last 40 days of the year – this day used to represent the day when retail businesses first turned a profit for the year, but it is losing importance as shoppers are moving online and look for bargains now throughout the year
Brick and mortar stores
Refers to traditional stores in malls or with physical presence on streets – as opposed to online shopping via web sites.  Which are the biggest online retail web sites?
While brick and mortar stores are losing out to online shopping opportunities, they still represent the majority of total sales by far.  Why is that?
Future Value formula (FV)
The mathematical foundation of compounded or exponential investment growth.  FV= PV x (1+ r)^t
where FV stands for future value, PV stands for present value (the starting value of an investment), r is the average or assumed growth rate of the investment, and t is the number of periods (usually years) that the investment is compounding for
Used to project the value of an investment into the future, assuming a constant or average growth rate over “t” number of periods (usually years).  All individuals should take advantage of the exponential growth of their money in qualified retirement plans like Roth IRAs and 401Ks. 

IRD - Mission 3: Convert Text from UPPERCASE to lowercase

Internet Research Detective – Mission 3
Convert Text from UPPERCASE to lowercase
                              ...and from lowercase to UPPERCASE

Your mission is to find a web site that will convert any text from uppercase to lowercase and vice versa.  The sample text to convert appears below:



This is a sample paragraph written with lowercase text. 
Filler text in latin:

Cras lorem sapien, blandit aliquam commodo non, varius sit amet velit. Praesent ut sapien nec metus condimentum euismod id in elit. In congue elit felis, convallis pellentesque augue tempor sed. Mauris neque augue, fermentum ut urna gravida, fermentum fringilla ante. Morbi at lacinia turpis. Aliquam erat volutpat. Mauris tincidunt erat ultricies sodales pellentesque. Donec sit amet nunc id elit pulvinar convallis tristique eu justo. Donec pulvinar leo in odio mattis laoreet. Donec commodo pretium rutrum. Pellentesque lacinia metus augue, sed gravida lacus aliquam vel. Praesent eget blandit magna, vitae tristique diam. Morbi felis eros, molestie id fringilla sed, scelerisque ut tellus. Vivamus felis nunc, sagittis sed sagittis sed, interdum sit amet tellus.

Please convert both sample texts to the desired case and use a different font color for your answer.
Finally, save your word as a Word doc file with your name and g-mail it to me at Don’t forget to Cc yourself (send it to your own e-mail address as well).

IRD - Mission 2: Google Maps Exercise


  Internet Research Detective – Mission 2

Google Maps – Send directions to a friend or relative

Parent –teachers meetings are coming up this week. Say you need to give your parent or guardian directions to the Hyde School.  Let’s send them an e-mail message containing a link to Google Maps that will give them directions from your home to school. 

a)      Find directions to the Hyde School (88 Basset Road in North Haven, CT).  This will be Point B.
b)    Click on Get Directions to input your home address (Point A), and click again on Get Directions.
c)     Use the link icon (short option) to create a link to your Google Map, which you can then insert or add to your e-mail!
d) Use Gmail to send an e-mail to your parent/guardian, Cc: yourself, and Bcc: the teacher at:

P.S. Don’t forget to check the Traffic option to see how heavy traffic can be at different times during the day.

IRD Mission 1: 3 Online Research Tasks


             Internet Research Detective – Mission 1
                     3 Online Research Questions

1) What is the cost of raising a child in the State of  CT?

a)    ages 0-18
b)    ages 0-22 with public college education
c)    What are the 2 biggest expense categories
     parents face?

2) What are the hottest 5 trending topics being  searched on Google right NOW? 

To find out, visit
         or (then change the country setting                                              from the U.K. to the United States)

3)  Go to the Google Chrome Web Store and find a useful app that you would recommend to the rest of the class.       
     You can also click on this link for the assignment.

                Send your answers to: