This Hanging Chains lesson plan also includes:
Hang by the ends of a chain to find the equation of a parabola. Class members determine the equation of a parabola that closely models the curve formed by a hanging chain. Using a coordinate axis, groups pick points to create a system of equations to solve to find the values of the parameters of a quadratic equation. With the aid of a projected graphing calculator, learners compare their parabolas to the chains.
- Find the equation using both the procedure outlined and by using transformations to compare the resulting equations
- Be aware of basic information about a catenary
- The class should be comfortable solving systems of linear equations
- Provides a detailed description of the procedure to find the standard equation of the parabola from a graph
- Includes questions for the teacher to reflect upon the lesson