Celebrate Mathematics Awareness Month
Math has an impact on just about every aspect of our lives including some that we don’t often think about. Math helped change the outcome of WWII, it also shows up in the way we drive our cars and the way we manage our finances. In celebration of Math Awareness Month, here are four TI-Nspire activities to use in your classes – whether you teach algebra, calculus or statistics.
1: German Tanks: Exploring Sampling Distributions
In this activity, your students will be challenged with the same problem the WWII Allies’ generals had: How do you determine how many German tanks there are? In WWII, the statisticians working for the Allies used sample statistics and sampling distributions to help determine the number of German tanks. Students explore different sample statistics and use simulation to develop a statistic that is effective in approximating the maximum number in a population.
2: Exploring Compound Interest
In this activity, students explore the concept of compounding interest. Students are often unaware of how math can help them in their personal lives. If students can see the incredible impact of continuously compounding interest on a small amount of money invested over a long period of time, they may be more motivated toward wise money management strategies. For further exploration, students can explore the effects of changes in the interest rate, period, and principal amounts by using the finance solver on the TI-Nspire handheld.
3: Exploring Domain and Range
In this activity, your students will develop the fundamental relationship between a function and its domain and range. This activity is an opportunity to focus on functions and establishing the concept of domain and range of a function. First, by dragging a point along the graph of a function, students determine the domain and range of given functions. Then, they will compare the domains and ranges of several functions. Finally, celebrate math and creativity by having students sketch graphs of functions that have certain domains and ranges.
4: Quadratic Functions and Stopping Distance
Comparing stopping distance under normal conditions vs. wet weather or when talking on a cell phone provides an engaging opportunity to use quadratic functions to model data. Using the regression capabilities on the calculator, students can generate equations to model the relationship between stopping distance and speed for different driving conditions and compare the differences in the models to describe the effect of those conditions on stopping distance.