Education Technology

Exploring Hyperbolas

Published on 04/03/2013

Activity Overview

Students will explore the hyperbola by investigating links between its standard equation form and its graph. They will also discover the center and the focal lengths of the hyperbola as well as see applications of the hyperbola in the real world.

Key Steps

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    Students begin by exploring the definition of a hyperbola and the relationship to other conic sections.

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    Students will investigate the equation of a hyperbola by moving the center of the hyperbola and seeing how the equation changes based on the moves.

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    Students will apply hyperbolas to real-life models by modeling the form of the cooling towers of a nuclear power plant.

    Students will also investigate the focal length of a hyperbola while also seeing the asymptotes of a hyperbola.