A Better Modeling Task

Inspired by Geoff Krall, I’ve got a new project idea for my unit on Coordinate Plane Geometry. Now I just have to write it out (and convert from Fahrenheit otherwise my students will think this problem is set on Mercury).

Taking a lame textbook problem and changing it up to ask students to actually analyze the appropriateness of the model, make assumptions leading to a new model, and critically think about the flaws in the model.

Any other ideas?

PS, it’s super annoying that I can’t simply embed the storify story here. grr.


About katenerdypoo

Middle Years and Upper Grades math teacher in the Netherlands teaching both within the Dutch national curriculum and the IB MYP and DP.
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2 Responses to A Better Modeling Task

  1. Hello
    I read the storify exchange, and your comment about periodic function models. I guess you were referring to sine and cosine. The other day I wanted a periodic function which was based on polynomials, well, parts of them. It didn’t matter that one single function was required, so I took y=kx^2 for the range 0 to 1/2 (centered on 0) and the shifted upside down quadratic passing through (1,1) for the range 1/2 to 1. Here it is: y = 1 – k(1 – x)*2 . For correct choice of k they will not only meet at the point (1/2,1/2), they will be going in the same direction. So you get the first half of a periodic function. In the outside world of mainly engineering people have no problem in a curve being described by different functions at different places.
    Here is the pic https://howardat58.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/periodic-parabolas.jpg

  2. Pingback: A Better Modeling Task Part 2 | in pursuit of nerdiness

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