Education Technology

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Activity Overview

In this activity, students use the calculator to solve quadratic equations. They use the quadratic formula to determine the vertex and the x-intercepts of the graph of a quadratic function.

Before the Activity

  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 69 - 72 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Perform symbolic manipulation of the quadratic equation, use the calculator to solve the expression, and indicate both positive and negative solution
  • Use the solution in the original equation and confirm the results
  • Solve real world problems involving quadratic equations


  • Use the function model for the height of a projectile and complete the time versus height data table
  • Graph the function and find the maximum height for the projectile, time taken to reach the height, and time the ball remained in the air


  • Solve the given quadratic formula for projectile motion and answer the questions
  • Examine the graph of a quadratic function and realize that the shape is a parabola
  • Determine the axis of symmetry (vertical intercept), and the x- or y- intercepts
  • Understand the meaning of the intercepts and the vertex
  • After the Activity

    Students solve the equations and problems on the Student Activity pages.

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary