History of Math

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This is a sample lesson plan for use in my History of Mathematics class.

TOPIC: Parametric Equations

GRADE LEVEL: High School

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The student will solve a real-life problem using parametric equations.

Materials Needed:

  • Graphing calculators
  • Nerf-type "gun" that will shoot a rocket-like object
  • Measuring tape
  • Stopwatch
  • Recording sheets
  • Large protractor (teacher-size for use on chalkboards) to measure angle of launch

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Parametric Equations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parametric_equation


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Before we begin: watch this introduction to parametric equations video.

Parametric Equations

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  1. What is the best angle of launch if we want the nerf rocket to go the farthest distance?
  2. How can we model the flight of the rocket using a mathematics equation?

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Modeling the flight of the rocket.
  1. We will begin by answering the first question by trial and error.
    • Specifically, we will fire the gun at different launch angles (30 degrees, 45 degrees, 60 degrees) and measure to determine which yields the longest flight distance.
  2. Next, we will discuss how to model the flight of the rocket graphically.
    • Specifically, we will determine the horizontal and vertical vectors that will determine the rocket's location in space at any given time of the flight.

Road Works.svg Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page. Road Works.svg