Education Technology

NCAA Tournaments: Discovering Exponential Functions

Published on 06/09/2009

Activity Overview

In this activity, students will begin by discussing the NCAA tournaments -- particularly the elimination process and how ultimately only one team is chosen as a champion. Students will use their knowledge of tables and graphs to discover concepts of exponential functions and restrictions on the domain and range of those functions.

Before the Activity

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) holds an annual basketball tournament. The nation's top 64 teams in Division I are invited to play each spring. When a team loses, it is out of the tournament. Allow students to discuss the games and bracket sheet (attached) of the NCAA tournament and completing it if time permits.

During the Activity

Students should be able to work independently. A teacher and student sheet has been attached.

After the Activity

Students should get a better idea of exponential functions in non-contextual situations. The document contains sliders of the variables a and b involved in the exponential function y= a(b)x.