This week freshman at Roberto Clemente Community Academy focused on quadratic equations in real life scenarios in their International Baccalaureate Algebra I class. Students began the week by reviewing how to factor through quadratic equations. As students progressed through the week, they began to learn more about how they could use factoring to find x intercepts in a parabola. Many students did not recognize that parabolas are all around us; teachers used that as a segue into our IB summative assessment.
Students began researching parabolas through architect that they see throughout Chicago. Many students noted that they see parabolas all throughout our city and around the world. Students then began to research different parabolas within Chicago. Students saw two prominent examples of parabolas through the bean in Millennium Park and the arches of the McDonald’s on the corner of West Ontario and North Clark Street. Students were then given the task of finding and researching parabolas that were not found in the United States. Students found numerous famous bridges that had parabolas on them along with many famous architectural buildings. One building that stuck out to many students was L’Oceanographic, which is in Valencia, Spain.
Student Shantell Willingham said that the L’Oceanographic was like “something she’s never seen before and wasn’t aware that it could relate to math.” Students were then given the task to find the quadratic equation for the parabola that they found. Students were given the option to use technology or draw their graphs in order to better support their answers. Many students chose to use “desmos” (an online graphing calculator) to help support their answers. After creating their parabolas and forming their equations, students began to solidify the concept of parabolas and its relation to architect in the real world. As the unit continues, students will continue to find real life scenarios of parabolas and continue to build their IB learner profile of being reflective.