Education Technology

NUMB3RS - Season 1 - "Structural Corruption" - Exploring Parabolas

Published on 10/17/2008

Activity Overview

When a Cal Sci student apparently commits suicide by jumping off of a bridge, Charlie investigates and suspects foul play. He believes the parabolic path followed by the student terminates farther from the bridge than it should for a jumper. While Charlie was ultimately wrong in his assumption of foul play, he was correct that the body would follow a parabolic path in its descent.
This activity allows students to discover the effects the parabola's coefficients have on its graph.

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. Use the attached picture as the background in the Extensions section of the activity.