Weightless Wonder

A video of the weightless wonder provides a setting for the math to follow. Groups analyze the graph of a quadratic function that models the path of the C-9 as it gives astronauts the experience of weightlessness. Using a graphing calculator, the teams analyze the function itself and determine what effects result from changing the parameters of the equation.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Determine the number of parabolas that must be flown for an astronaut to practice a particular task, such as putting on a spacesuit
  • If the class is not familiar with using a graphing calculator to graph and determine points, provide a mini lesson prior to the activity
Classroom Considerations

  • The class should have knowledge of working with quadratics and their graphs
Pros

  • Resource comes in two forms, one that uses a graphing calculator and one that uses a TI-Nspire
  • The wrap-up is an assessment to determine individual understanding
Cons

  • None