Collecting Driving Data

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

Give AP Calculus classes the opportunity to check the accuracy of their calculations! A calculus activity involves the collection of data, the application of mathematics, and the analysis of the accuracy of results. Young mathematicians collect data during a ten-minute car ride. After plotting speed vs time, they use Riemann Sum and Trapezoid Rule to calculate the area under the curve. Next, they compare the calculations to actual distance and discuss accuracy.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Assign as a group project at home or during class
  • Feature in one station of an AP Calculus class for learners to rotate through
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires prior experience with Riemann Sum and Trapezoid Rule
  • Data must be collected by students prior to the start of the activity
  • Teacher guide and/or key not provided
  • Gives participants the opportunity to analyze meaningful data and evaluate the accuracy of their calculations
  • Format of the worksheet makes it a versatile addition to your class instruction
  • Worksheet includes straightforward instructions
  • Comes in a document format for easier printing and editing
  • None