Education Technology

Breaking Up Over Model Bridges

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

The learning objective of this activity is to introduce the concept of reciprocal functions having the form: xy = k or y = f(x) = k/x, where k is a constant and x and y are variables.

In Part I, twelve one inch paper squares arranged in various rectangles illustrate that length x width = 12 square inches. In Part II an experimental load constant is determined for a balsa wood cantilever: mass x failure length = k.

The TI-83/84 graphing calculator is used to display the three representations.

Before the Activity

Read the attached lesson plan, review the references, and gather the materials.

During the Activity

A student worksheet is provided in the attached lesson plan along with teacher notes and calculator screens to illustrate each step.

After the Activity

An extension activity, suitable for a statistics class, and a suggestion for an independent study project are included in the teacher notes.