Math Topics/Physics - Connections to the PCMI Theme Summary

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

On Wednesday, we spent most of the session learning how to operate the CBL/CBR equipment. We started with the ranger, which detects distance, and made graphs by moving in one dimension, then tried to match graphs generated by the computer. The probes available measured many things: force, EKG, heart rate, frequency of sound, and acceleration of an object. For help on using these, or to download the program in order to use a specific probe, go to

Afterwards we discussed the possibilities for lessons in math classes. Students would be able to understand graphs on a deeper level, fit curves to data. From the ranger experiment they could see the relationship between velocity, direction, and the slope of a line.The idea of tossing a ball straight up in the air, or with a baseball pitching machine, and measuring the height over time was suggested. This graph would look parabolic while the trajectory would be in one dimension, up and down.

To find more ideas or materials, look on, then "illuminations" which provides java applets for classrooms without the CBL equipment. Also, the book titled Functional Melodies is available through Key Curriculum Press on music and functions.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808.
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