Students will work through two different optimization problems, one that requires finding an absolute maximum value and one that requires finding an absolute minimum value. In both problems, students will find these values experimentally using manual data capture. They will then use the information given in each problem to write an equation in two variables that can be analyzed using differential calculus, yielding these same absolute extreme values that were derived experimentally.
Before the Activity
Download the attached PDF and look over the information on the first page. Download and distribute the attached student TI-Nspire document (.tns file) and student worksheet for use during the activity.
During the Activity
Discuss the material from the activity pages and worksheet with students as needed.
After the Activity
Encourage students to summarize what they have learned from completing the activity.