Education Technology

NUMB3RS - Season 2 - "Harvest" - Waxing Elliptical

Activity Overview

In "Harvest," Charlie is helping Don investigate illegal kidney transplants in Los Angeles. Charlie is able to determine that the ambulance went out of its way to go to an unknown location, traveling 26 miles when the straight distance was 20 miles. Assuming the ambulance traveled in straight lines, the unknown location must lie on an ellipse with the start and end points as the foci. In this activity, students will learn how the foci of an ellipse are related to the shape of the ellipse.

Before the Activity

Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher page.

During the Activity

Discuss the materials from the Student Page with your class.

After the Activity

Encourage students to explore web sites and questions from the Extensions page.