It is absolutely exhausting to try and make everything you teach into a real life applicable project, but I do make an effort to include projects as much as I can in my class. This is especially true in math since I teach the accelerated math kids. The students really enjoy it and I feel as though they get more out of it and actually remember the concepts.
In my curriculum I only get to teach data for about 4 lessons, which is so unfortunate because there are so many cool things I could do with it! So I usually move some things around to do data for about two weeks. Today I took my kids to the computer lab and taught them how to do graphing on Microsoft Word and using Google forms/ sheets. They got to see how adults use graphs every day in the real world. But we only got to use the computer after they learned how to graph the long/hard/by hand way.
Earlier this week we did our big graphing project. They broke up into groups that I let them choose (I find I have many less group arguments when the students get to work with their friends.) They came up with a question they wanted to ask and who they wanted to ask. They were doing double bar graphs so they either had to compare boys versus girls or two different grade levels. I sent the surveys out to other teachers and got the data back. They had to make a rough draft tally chart and bar graph, get it checked by me, then do a final copy on butcher paper. Then they had to write a conclusion paragraph. I am very impressed with their end results!