Education Technology

An Introduction to Derive

Published on 07/23/2005

Activity Overview

In this activity, students use the Derive™ software to algebraically solve expressions, find factors, study binomial coefficients, and investigate derivatives and integrals.

Before the Activity

  • Install the Derive 6™ software on the computer
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print the attached PDF file for the class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Algebraically solve quadratic expressions
  • Factor, expand, and solve expressions
  • Define a function and plot a graph


  • Investigate the expansion of (a + b)n
  • Explore patterns in the coefficients of the terms and predict terms for other expansions
  • Study Binomial coefficients and Pascal's triangle
  • Enter two functions, plot their graphs, and find the point(s) of intersection


  • Investigate derivatives for a polynomial power function from first principles
  • Investigate an integral function and calculate the area bound by its graph


  • Solve trigonometric equations for different domains
  • After the Activity

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary