Education Technology

NUMB3RS - Season 2 - "Harvest" - Getting in Focus

Activity Overview

In "Harvest," Charlie is helping Don investigate illegal kidney transplants in Los Angeles. Charlie is able to determine that the ambulance went out of its way to go to an unknown location, traveling 26 miles when the straight distance was 20 miles. Assuming the ambulance traveled in straight lines, the unknown location would lie on an ellipse with the start and end points as the foci. In this activity, students will learn how to relate the equation of an ellipse to the coordinates of its foci.

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.