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.