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Using AI to Create Career Related Math Problems: Percentages


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Tech Product/Equipment:
Computer and projector, Mobile devices for students

Activity Description

Teaching Math requires teachers to know multiple ways to explain a topic, scaffolding to assist students in step-by-step problem solving, and focus student interest by applying mathematics to their personal interest. Artificial Intelligence can help with all three of these areas. 

Students Working on Computers
Source: Best Practices for Using Websites with Students (License: CC0/Public Domain)
 Two current AI applications are ChatGPT and Canva.  AI's ability to apply math concepts to real-world scenarios makes it an excellent source to use with your classes. Students can enter prompts that address their job preference and apply math to their field of interest. But that is just one way to use AI. If students struggle understanding a concept, AI can address the math concept in a different way differentiating by student need. Canva gives you the opportunity to use Math templates in creating your lessons.


  1. Check the website to ensure it is not blocked at your site.
  2. Read through the lesson plan.
  3. Print and make copies of any handouts.
  4. Get an account at ChatGPT and/or Canva. There are free versions.
  5. Print the Worksheet Using Percentages in Different Career Fields, print the answer sheet if desired.

Teacher Tips

One of the strengths of AI prompt generation is that if you don't get the exact answer you want, you can continue asking. 

For example, in the resource, using ChatGPT 3.5, the prompts included: 

Prompt 1: 

Adult students learn math application  of percentages in the career of their choice. Lesson plan includes student choice, scaffolding of math concepts, step-by-step instructions.

Prompt 2: 

Examples of percentage problems in different careers

Prompt 3: 

Explain how to do percentage problems using several different methods



More Ways

Demonstrate to students how to ask AI to be a personal tutor by asking AI to show a different method in solving the problem.

Program Areas

  • ABE: Adult Basic Education
  • ESL: English as a Second Language
  • ASE: High School Equivalency Preparation
  • ASE: High School Diploma
  • CTE: Career Technical Education
  • AwD: Adults with Disabilities


  • All Levels
  • All Levels

Lesson Plan

Engagement Enhancement

Review percentages lesson from prior day. In pairs, students work on three of the following problems (these problems were generated by AI, ChatGPT. The answers follow.) Together, student pairs create step-by-step instructions for solving percentgage problems. Gather as a class. Did all the students solve the percentage problems the same way? Write the step-by-step instructions on the board.

Shopping Discount:

  1. Problem: Sarah bought a dress that was originally priced at $80. If the store is offering a 25% discount on all dresses, how much did Sarah pay for the dress after the discount?
    Test Score:
  2. Problem: John scored 85% on his math test. If the test had 50 questions, how many questions did John answer correctly?
    Tax Calculation:
  3. Problem: If the sales tax rate is 8% and the price of a laptop is $800, how much will the total cost be after tax?
    Salary Increase:
  4. Problem: If a person's salary increases by 10% from $50,000 per year, what will be the new salary?
    Population Growth:
  5. Problem: A town's population was 5,000 last year. If the population increased by 15% this year, what is the new population?
    Tip Calculation:
  6. Problem: If the bill at a restaurant is $75 and the customary tip is 20%, how much should be left as a tip?
    Discounted Price:
  7. Problem: A pair of shoes is on sale for 40% off the original price of $120. What is the sale price of the shoes?
    Interest Calculation:
  8. Problem: If the interest rate on a savings account is 3% per year, how much interest will be earned on a deposit of $2,000 after one year?
    Weight Loss:
  9. Problem: If someone loses 15% of their initial weight of 160 pounds, how much weight did they lose?
    Exam Pass Rate:
  10. Problem: Out of 80 students who took an exam, 70% passed. How many students passed the exam?


  1. Shopping Discount:
    Sarah paid
    $80−(0.25×$80)=$60 for the dress after the discount.
  2. Test Score:
    John answered
    0.85×50=42.5 questions correctly. Since he can't answer half a question, he answered 42 questions correctly.
  3. Tax Calculation:
    The total cost after tax is
  4. Salary Increase:
    The new salary is
  5. Population Growth:
    The new population is
  6. Tip Calculation:
    The tip amount should be
  7. Discounted Price:
    The sale price of the shoes is
  8. Interest Calculation:
    The interest earned is
  9. Weight Loss:
    The weight loss is
    0.15×160=24 pounds.
  10. Exam Pass Rate:
    The number of students who passed the exam is
    0.70×80=56 students.

Ask the students what careers they are planning on in their futures.  Do some fall under an umbrella field? ie: phlebotomist = healthcare Create a list of those careers fields that interest the students.

Engagement Enhancement

We will be using AI to create percentage problems  in career fields. The problems on the worksheet were created by ChatGPt. Hand out the Worksheet Using Percentages in Different Career Fields. In pairs select five problems to solve. Share and discuss as a class. Which method did you use to solve the problems?

Which percentage method did students prefer in solving the problems? Possible answers:

  1. Using Proportions
  2. Using Decimal Conversion
  3. Using Fraction Conversion
  4. Percentage Change
  5. Reverse Percentage Problems
  6. Using Percentages as Fractions    If any of these methods need reviewing, ask ChatGPT to demonstrate--showing the students one method of using AI as a tutor.


Engagement Enhancement

Students use ChatGPT to ask for 10 problems in their career field (5 from each student totaling 10 problems). Together they solve the problems (without use of AI) The pair go up to the board and demonstrate solving one of their problems to the class.

Students select 3 of their problems (with answers) to share with the teacher (who will gather the problems and create a class assessment). 


The teacher gathers the three problems from each pair and creates a class persentage problem assessment to share with all the students.

Students answer the assessment.

Engagement Enhancement Extension

Discuss how AI was beneficial in helping learn and practice math problems. In pairs list ways you can use AI, include what ways were used in class. Share with the class. On the board, make a list of ways to use AI. Introduce challenges presented by AI that must also be addressed: bias, inaccuracy, sources used. Take these ideas home to discuss. Then the class can discuss them in a future lesson.



  • Consumer Economics
    • Understand how to manage household finances
    • Use measurement and money
  • Learning and Thinking Skills
    • Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
    • Demonstrate ability to use problem-solving skills
  • Math
    • Algebra
    • Calculus
  • Math
    • Compute using decimal fractions
    • Compute using fractions
    • Compute using whole numbers
    • Compute with percents, rate, ratio, and proportion
  • Math
    • Consumer Math
    • Conversions
    • Decimals
  • Math
    • Demonstrate measurement skills
    • Demonstrate pre-computation skills
  • Math
    • Fractions
    • Geometry
    • Integrated Math
  • Math
    • Interpret data from graphs and compute averages
  • Math
    • Math Electives
    • Percentages
    • Pre-Algebra
    • Proportions
    • Trigonometry
  • Math
    • Use estimation and mental arithmetic
    • Use expressions, equations, and formulas
    • Use statistics and probability
  • Math
    • Whole Number Skills
  • Mathematics
    • Algebraic Concepts
    • Data Analysis/Probability/Statistics
    • Measurement/Geometry
    • Numbers and Operations on Numbers

CTE Sectors

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment
  • Building and Construction Trades
  • Business and Finance
  • Education, Child Development, and Family Services
  • Energy, Environment, and Utilities
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Fashion and Interior Design
  • Health Science and Medical Technology
  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Manufacturing and Product Development
  • Marketing Sales and Service
  • Public Services
  • Transportation

CTE Anchor Standards

  • Anchor Standard 1: Academics - Analyze and apply appropriate academic standards required for successful industry sector pathway completion leading to postsecondary education and employment. Refer to the industry sector alignment matrix for identification of standards.
  • Anchor Standard 5: Problem Solving and Critical Thinking - Writing Standard: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem, narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate, and synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.


Math, career path math, ChatGPT, mathematics, percentages, prompt generation, real-world scenarios, AI, Canva


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AI Reference

ChatGPT was used in brainstorming ideas for this resource, and generating examples of percent problems in different careers
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.