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Mathematics in Motion

Modelling things in motion – with some smart TI-Nspire mathematical tools

Publisher: Texas Instruments UK

Author: Linda Tetlow, Ian Galloway, Adrian Oldknow

Topic:  Mathematics  STEM

Tags  Modelling ,  Data ,  Calculus ,  Velocity

This book in the ‘STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities with TI-Nspire’ series is, as they say, a game of two halves.

One half of the book, Section A, is a guide to some of the new exploratory tools now available for working with models and data using TI-Nspire software and/or handhelds. Instead of having to learn the concepts and techniques of diff erential and integral calculus before using them to model ‘real-world’ applications such as objects in motion, the approach is to set up dynamic examples from which basic ideas of rate-of-change, and accumulated values can be explored numerically and graphically as an introduction to (and motivation for) the calculus. It assumes that teachers and students have hands-on access to TI-Nspire technology.

The other half of the book, Section B, is a set of possibly free standing investigations into modelling motion based on different forms of data collection: manual, video and data logging. It uses examples of experiments which you perform outdoors or in a sports-hall – or model experimentally in the laboratory or classroom. In each of these, the scientific principles (mainly from physics) and the mathematical modelling techniques are closely integrated. The key link is with activities which students themselves like to engage – either putting themselves or some object into motion – and are thus intended to maximise the interest, relevance and understanding of what is going on. The booklet by itself can suggest activities and approaches, but it needs to be accompanied by resources such as photographs, video clips, newspaper cuttings, data sets, TI-Nspire documents etc.

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