Kick off the new school year with lessons from our Back to School 2022 collection to help students express themselves, build relationships, and stay organized.

1. Use Code for Decision Making

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In the last activity, you created a spreadsheet to organize and analyze data about a product, like a phone.

You can use spreadsheets to organize data for any decision, like choosing where to live.

Think about living on your own.

Do you want to live close to your workplace, college, friends, or family?

Do you need to live near a grocery store, pharmacy, or restaurants?

Do you need to walk to all of these places?

Or, if you have a car, do you want these locations to be within a five or ten mile radius?

How safe is the area?

And you’ll certainly have to consider price.

You can use a spreadsheet to collect, organize, and sort data that you find on the Internet about housing options, much like you did for a product purchase.

Some data isn’t readily available--especially personalized data.

For example, you can find the address of an apartment or a home to rent on a website.

But the website does not tell you how far that location is from your workplace or your school.

This information is specific to you.

There isn’t a pre-programmed function to calculate this distance.

Even if you know the location of an apartment and your school, you can’t use simple subtraction to get the distance between them.

The formula is more complicated than that.

When a function or equation doesn’t exist, you can write your own!

In this activity, you will select a location where you might want to find an apartment, house, townhome, or other residence to rent.

Then, you will perform an internet search to find available options near that location.

Next, you will organize this data in a spreadsheet.

Each row in the sheet will contain one housing option, like an apartment, house, or room for rent.

Each column contains a different aspect to evaluate, like number of bedrooms or bathrooms, monthly cost, or security deposit.

Then, you will write a function that uses variables to calculate how far each housing option is from another location, such as a college, workplace, or favorite hangout.

Knowing the distance between your home and a place you frequent helps you approximate the amount of time and money you will spend on travel.

To start, decide on a place you might like to live.

It could be in the same town that you live in now, or it might be where you plan to go to school, or a place you’d really like to live after you graduate.

Then, go to and open a blank spreadsheet.

Name the spreadsheet “Housing Options” in the city you chose.

This example is called “Housing Options in Mobile, Alabama.”

Then, move on to the next video to start setting up your spreadsheet.

Now, it’s your turn Decide on a city in which you’d like to look for housing.

Go to and Open a blank spreadsheet.

Name your sheet “Housing Options in” the city you chose.

Then, move on to the next video.


  1. Decide on a city where you'd like to look for housing.
  2. Go to
  3. Open a blank spreadsheet.
  4. Name the sheet "Housing Options in [insert city]."