This investigation offers an approach to show students the basic definition of a parabola as the locus of all points equidistant from a fixed point (focus) and a fixed line (directrix). Students will also interpret the equation for a parabola in vertex form and gain a visual understanding of a parabola's focal width.
Before the Activity
Download the attached PDF and look over the information on the first page. Download and distribute the attached .tns file and Student Worksheet for use during the activity.
During the Activity
Discuss the material from the activity pages and worksheet with students as needed.
After the Activity
Encourage students to summarize what they have learned from completing the activity.