Education Technology

Folding Parabolas

Published on 03/06/2013

Activity Overview

In this activity, students graph a quadratic function and investigate its symmetry by choosing pairs of points with the same y-value. They then calculate the average of the x-values of these points and discover that not only do all the points have the same x-value, but the average is equal to the x-value of the vertex.

Key Steps

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    This activity enables students to investigate the axis of symmetry of a quadratic.

    Students graph a quadratic equation and examine it.

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    A page is set up for students to gather data from a graph of a quadratic function.

    Students will use the manual data capture to record the x-coordinates with the same y-values.

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    Students use a formula to calculate the average of two x-coordinates with the same y value.

    After capturing the points and finding the averages of their x-values, students will use the data to investigate and form a hypothesis about the axis of symmetry and the mean of two x-values.

    At the end of this activity, students will be able to use the axis of symmetry to find the coordinates of the vertex.