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Mathematics Instructional Learning Community
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"An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject, and how to avoid them." (Werner Heisenberg)
Voltage for Precalculus
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bperry
Posted 8/25/2006 10:26 PM (#930)
Subject: Voltage for Precalculus


Math

Posts: 281
100100252525
Location: Henry Clay
http://education.ti.com/educationportal/activityexchange/Activity.do?cid=US&aId=6489

Precalculus teachers at Henry Clay are going to do the Battery Voltage activity above.
nfeese
Posted 9/19/2006 8:32 PM (#1028 - in reply to #930)
Subject: RE: Voltage for Precalculus
Math

500100252525
Location: IAKSS
Bryson and HCHS precalc teachers,

How did the activity go?? Any tips for other teachers who might want to use??

I am guessing that students worked in groups. How many students to one group??

Thanks!!
scombs
Posted 9/22/2006 3:09 PM (#1050 - in reply to #930)
Subject: RE: Voltage for Precalculus
Math

Posts: 104
100
Location: Henry Clay
While we did some pretty awesome activities during our training this summer, this was not on my list of favorites. Honestly, I thought that it took a lot of time and effort to come up with some pretty unimpressive data. The fact that every time you add a 1.5 volt battery that the voltage increased by about 1.5 just doesn't seem to inspiring. I also thought that the benefits of this experiment were not nearly worth the cost of the equipment; unless there is a lot more we plan to do with a voltage probe later on. I have a small battery powered voltage meter that I picked up at an automotive store that does pretty much the same thing for only a fraction of the cost. Of course I have to enter the numbers into the calculator manually but that is not a big deal. I would like to hear if folks thought this experiment was worth the effort. Unless someone convinces me differently I don't plan to use this particular activity.
nfeese
Posted 9/25/2006 3:51 PM (#1059 - in reply to #930)
Subject: RE: Voltage for Precalculus
Math

500100252525
Location: IAKSS
What can I say... I agree with the assessment of the activity in terms of the time and expense of the equipment.
However--
If the equipment is already there (even one demonstration set), then it is a nice thing for kids to view to make a connection to a real-life linear function.

It makes a lot of sense to ask students to predict what happens to total voltage when you add another battery. They can make tables and graphs even without the batteries in the room. And then when they actually measure the voltage and see that it really happens, it makes a strong visual impact and connection.

It emphasizes the existence and value of studying linear functions...
scombs
Posted 9/25/2006 4:07 PM (#1060 - in reply to #930)
Subject: RE: Voltage for Precalculus
Math

Posts: 104
100
Location: Henry Clay
I don't really disagree with anything Natalie says here (or anywhere for that matter ). I just think that some of the other linear activities which we did were superior to this one and required less in terms of time, equipment, setup etc... This is an activity which might take place in a physics class where the students might also explore the difference between this and a parallel type configuration on both voltage and current. Our particular take on this "electicity" connection stays pretty basic. I found myself wanting to either do more with the activity or not do it at all.
dhays
Posted 9/26/2006 8:03 PM (#1069 - in reply to #930)
Subject: RE: Voltage for Precalculus
Math

Posts: 119
100
Location: Henry Clay
While we are on the topic of activities that were done at MILC this summer....I did the the bounce and pass activity. The shear fact of going outside on a beautiful day was joy enough for me! I think the kids liked that aspect of it too. The data in one class turned out to be almost perfectly linear. I had some klutzy kids in another hour that couldn't bounce the ball without getting their feet in the way. Actually, it turned into a pretty good line of questioning. "When Josh bounced the ball off his feet and had to scramble to go and get it, how might this have affected the slope of our line?" Anyhow, I enjoyed the activity and would recommend using it.

Edited by dhays 9/26/2006 8:04 PM
kxjohnson
Posted 9/29/2006 1:20 PM (#1081 - in reply to #930)
Subject: RE: Voltage for Precalculus
Math

Posts: 44
25
Location: Henry Clay
I did the Ball Bounce in Advanced Algebra II as well. It went really well, and the kids really enjoyed it! We even had a vice-principal stand and do both entire rounds of data collection!

The data was nice and it was a good place for the kids to practice the Linear Regression. I made up a little sheet with the instructions for doing Linear Regressions. I will try out my posting skills and put it up. It does use the TI-EMU font keys and if you don't have that on your computer, it might look wierd.

ldewees
Posted 9/29/2006 1:37 PM (#1083 - in reply to #930)
Subject: RE: Voltage for Precalculus
Math

Posts: 55
2525
Location: Henry Clay
Don't forget there is always Bunjie Jumping Barbie who comes out linear! (Some of you might not know what that is. We put rubber bands on Barbie and figure out with a linear equation how many bands it will take to send Barbie off the stairs without injuring her.) It's fine if no one else uses Barbie because then the kids in Stats haven't seen it before. But a 9th grade Alg 1 kid probably is not headed towards Stats so maybe you can use it....
I did the Ball Bounce in Stats - I liked it better than the wave because they can't try to speed it up as much.
We also did the bouncing ball and looked at how it rebounded for some linear data.
The fun stuff happens when you go non-linear.....
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