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Graphing Calculator Activities

Interpreting the Spread of AIDS in the US

In this activity students are given data on the number of AIDS cases in the US and are asked to graph, interpret, and analyze the data.

Interpreting and Curve Fitting Temperature Data

This activity uses actual temperature data to initiate an exploration of the connections between coefficients and graphs of sine equations.

Interest Rates and the Growth of Money

This three-part activity asks students to: (1) derive a general interest rate formula, and (2) simulate and examine the growth of money at several different interest rates and compounding periods.

Analyzing Planets' Gravity and Periods

This two-part activity, adapted from (Foley, 1992) and (AMATYC, 1995) respectively, gives students the data shown in the table below and asks them to: (1) simulate the paths of objects freefalling from 500 feet above the surface of each planet, and (2) plot the approximate average distance from the sun versus the period for each planet and use their graphing calculators to derive Kepler's Third Law.

Exploring Mathematics with Recursion

This three part activity presents tasks that can be explored with both paper and pencil methods and the recursive features of graphing calculators.

Survey Sample Size and Confidence Intervals

This two-part activity addresses margins of error of surveys, and explores relationships between confidence intervals and both sample sizes and proportions.

Variations on Circles

This activity has students write equations and draw circles using the Cartesian, parametric, and polar coordinate systems. It also asks students to explore translations and rotations of polygons.

Graph This!

This activity presents a variety of tasks that are to be completed both algebraically and graphically.

Using Recursion to Explore Financial Matters

This six-part activity asks students to solve a classic problem first with paper and pencil, then by using lists, and then by using recursion. Then students are asked to apply the recursive method to explore a real world dilemma.

Parametric Equations and Projectile Motion

This four-part activity uses parametric equations to simulate horizontal motion, vertical motion, and more general projectile motion. These simulations include conditions of no gravity and gravity, and no drag and drag.

Using Statistical Regression to Investigate Track and Field

In this activity, students use the internet to collect data about world records in track and field. The data is then entered into a graphing calculator where it is analyzed using scatterplots and regression equations.

Histograms - A 'Dice-y' Topic

In this activity, students use graphing calculators to simulate rolling dice of various shapes.  Data are collected from the results of the rolls and displayed using calculator-generated histograms. Conjectures and generalizations are drawn from the histograms.


Send comments or questions to Joe Garofalo at jg2e@virginia.edu.

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Last modified on April 10, 2002.