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.

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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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