Education Technology

Parametric Races & Slopes

Published on 08/06/2010

Activity Overview

Students will study the motion of two points and use calculus to determine the velocity and acceleration. The slope of parametric equations will be determined.

Key Steps

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    Students will investigate parametric equations. Students will study the motion of two points and use calculus to determine the velocity and acceleration.

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    Next, students will explore a graph that is not a function, but can be graphed with parametric equations. They will explore what values of t result in cusps, horizontal and vertical tangents, and tangents equal to 1.

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    As an extension, students will try to create a graph from parametric equations that matches some given points. Students will find the value(s) of t for the vertical and horizontal tangents.