Education Technology

Using Derive

Published on 07/23/2005

Activity Overview

In this activity, students use the Derive™ software to solve trigonometric equations, expressions with exponentials, and log equations. They also determine the equation of tangent and normal of a function; evaluate integrals, find area between curves, study normal distribution, and calculate standard deviation.

Before the Activity

  • Install the Derive 6™ software on the computer
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print the attached PDF file for the class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Define a polynomial function, solve it, graph the curve, and label all points on it
  • Plot an absolute value function, and understand that the negative values of the function are reflected across the x-axis


  • Solve trigonometric equations in either radians or degrees
  • Simplify or expand trigonometric expressions using double angle formulas


  • Simplify and solve exponential and logarithmic equations
  • Find the inverse of a function
  • Plot the graphs of the function and its inverse in the same plane
  • Find the equations of the tangent and normal to a function at a given value using various methods


  • Evaluate definite and indefinite integrals
  • Draw a graph of the region bounded by the function and the x-axis, and find its area
  • Trace the point of intersection


  • Study the statistical distributions and determine probabilities for various situations
  • After the Activity

    Review student results:

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