This week juniors at Roberto Clemente Community Academy focused on geometric sequences and exponential functions in their Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry class. Students researched different sequences and found that we encounter sequences on a daily basis, but do not always realize it. They then went on to discover that sequences are present in dances, health and even lunar phases. Student Kenneth Rios, correlated sequences and exponential functions to his Allied Health Class, one example of how we work to build interdisciplinary connections as an IB World School. He researched how quickly a virus spreads and how that can be shown as an exponential function. Kenneth said, “I never knew how quickly a virus could spread, but creating it as a math problem shows that it can spread at a very fast pace and infect a lot of people.” Other Allied Health students also drew the connection and noted the importance of always washing their hands when dealing with patients.
Students then went onto learn about geometric sequences and its relationship to a ratio. Students were first introduced to the concept of sequences and ratios through visual pictures and were then asked to create their own. Each student created their own geometric sequence by placing different amounts of beans into different sectioned quadrants on their desk. They then were able to create a sequence with a constant ratio and their partner had to complete the sequence without knowing what the ratio was. Students were then given the task of creating an exponential function from their geometric sequence.
Students finished up the week by applying their knowledge of geometric sequences to ACT style questions. Students were able to use their beans to create a visual sequence to help them answer their questions. Student Daquan Brewer noted that using manipulatives helped to increase his understanding of sequences. Using real world experiences and making interdisciplinary connections is just one of the many ways in which we help to create interesting and relatable instruction and foster IB learners at Clemente High School.