This week in College Algebra at Roberto Clemente Community Academy, students used their knowledge of parabolas to predict the movement of a ball through a hoop. Students watched a Dan Meyer video on how throwing a basketball into a hoop relates to the graph of a parabola. Next, students analyzed the different parts of a trajectory of a basketball to predict if the ball would make it into the hoop, analyzed the maximum and zeros of a graph, and then proved through graphs that the ball either did or did not make it through the hoop.
Students then put their learning into action by creating their own Dan Meyer-inspired videos. Students worked in groups of three with roles as recorder, thrower, and hoop-holder. Students then recorded video of a shot where they either made it or did not make it into the hoop. For this experiment, it did not matter whether the ball made into the hoop; another group would be making a prediction by analyzing the video using the properties of parabolas. Students learned how to scroll through the videos to choose a screenshot of the image they wanted another group to analyze. Students then swapped iPads with another group.
Using the website Desmos.com, students put the other group’s picture onto a grid in a graph. They adjusted the size of the graph and placement to be along the x and y axis for what would make sense in real life. Students then input the standard form of a quadratic, which created an overlay of a graph on the image. Students also created sliders and adjusted them to fit the path of a ball. From there, students got to see if the path of the ball actually made it into the hoop or not. Students were then able to determine how far the group stood away from each other, how high the ball was thrown, and when the ball hit the ground. Finally, students compared their answers with the original group to see if they were correct. Using hands-on, interactive learning is just one of the many ways our IB Diploma Programme students are learning about the ways in which Math Studies permeates throughout their everyday lives!