Education Technology

Vector Graphics

Activity Overview

Vectors can be used to solve quite complex problems. In this activity students use position vectors to describe points on the Cartesian plane. Students explore three points located on the function y = 1/x forming a triangle with interesting properties.


  • Use position vectors to represent points
  • Add and subtract vectors in component form
  • Determine the dot product of two vectors
  • Determine the magnitude of a vector
  • Solve problems with vectors


  • Component form of a vector
  • Magnitude
  • Dot Product
  • Scalar Product
  • Projection

About the Lesson

Watch Activity Tutorial

Vectors in component form are used to represent points on the Cartesian plane. Three points in this problem as attached to the function y = 1/x.  Students use the magnitude of the vectors to computer the perimeter and area of the triangle formed. Finding vectors for the altitudes of the triangle and projections of these using scalar multiples produces an interesting result when students determine the point of intersection of the altitudes.