In "Undercurrents," the body of a dead woman washes up on the Los Angeles shore. To determine where the body entered the water, Charlie attempts to trace the path the body traveled using oceanic fluid dynamics and current flow equations. Charlie analyzes the current flow equations by dropping a large number of small buoys (known in fluid dynamics as "tracers") into the water and mapping how they approach land. Through this process, he is able to determine the vector fields that tell him where the body most likely originated. This activity will use the TI-Navigator system to explore vector fields and show how they can be used to make predictions.
Before the Activity
Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher Page.
Download and review the TI-Navigator files included here.
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.