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  • Subject Area

    • Math: Algebra I: Expressions
    • Math: Algebra I: Sequences and Series
    • Math: PreAlgebra: Expressions
    • Math: Middle Grades Math: Algebraic Thinking

  • Author

    Texas Instruments

  • Level


  • Activity Time

    60 Minutes

  • Device
    • TI-30X IIB
    • TI-30X IIS
    • TI-34 II Explorer Plus™
  • Other Materials
      This is Activity 3 from the EXPLORATIONS Book:
      Math Investigations with the TI-30X IIS and TI-34 II: Activities for the Middle Grades

      The following materials are required for this activity:
    • Plastic discs
    • Black transparencies/Chart paper
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Expanding Space Station

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Students will find and compare function rules for a given pattern. They also evaluate variable expressions.

Before the Activity

  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 22 - 25 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • Study the calculator keystrokes
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the activity procedures:

  • Explore the existing pattern
  • Generate a function rule for the pattern at stage 4 and a rule using 'n' as the stage number
  • Record the rule in words that reflect the pattern
  • Create a table of function rules that are mathematical equivalent
  • Generalize the rule for the 4th and the nth stage
  • Recognize the fact that a rule can have multiple statements
  • Write down different versions of the rule
  • Compare the different versions of the function rule and their outputs
  • Simplify all the versions and understand that the results are same
  • After the Activity

    Students complete the Student Activity pages and calculate the total number of units needed at each stage of the NASA plan.

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