Education Technology

Problem Solving: Modeling the Marathon

Activity Overview

In this activity, students use the TI InterActive!™ and exponential functions to predict if, and when, women will better the men's record in the marathon event in the Olympic games.

Before the Activity

  • Install the TI InterActive!™ on the computer
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 1 - 3 from the attached PDF file for the class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Examine the graphical data on the world record marathon times for men and women
  • Calculate the number of years since 1900
  • Calculate the decimal hours taken for the marathon
  • Use the Statistical regression feature to calculate an exponential model for the data
  • Graph the function
  • State the rule for the men's marathon time, and check the validity of the rule
  • Repeat the steps to determine the rule for the women's marathon time
  • Use the rules to find the intersection point of the two functions
  • Predict whether women will ever beat men in the marathon, and if yes, anticipate the date
  • Add the last three records of the Women's marathon and identify the difference this makes to the results
  • After the Activity

    Students answer questions on the activity page.

    . Review student results:

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