Teacher Guide for an "Inquiry Leading to Understanding" Project

Quadratic Equations in Projectile Motion Problems

By william Ingram, Tien Vu
Meet the Authors

"Can you think of something that can be modeled with the quadratic equation defining a projectile's motion?"
 Overview


 Understandings
and Standards


 Activities


 Resources


 Student Guide



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Overview

Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Curriculum Areas:
Focus: Math
Secondary: Science, Technology, Economics, Science

Topic:
Quadratic Equations & Projectile Motion

Themes:
Apply to real life applications, Graphing Quadratic Equations, Understand the meaning of x-intercepts, Using QE in real life applications, Using Quadratic Formula

Duration:
5 hours
Summary
This project will introduce students to the second-degree polynomial quadratic equation and its important real-life applications.
Students will learn to graph and determine solutions of quadratic equations, and apply this knowledge to analyze the relationship between time, velocity, height in vertical and projectile motion problems.

Rationale
Students often wonder why they have to learn math, graphing and solving equations. Does math really benefit them in real life? By demonstrating everyday application like projectile motion, an appreciation of the usefullness of quadratic equations is presented.
Students will realize that they will have to use math to solve many real-life problems such as finding speed, distance and time of travel. These concepts can be applied to sports,the player throwing the ball, how high the athelete can jump, or how long does it takes for a diver to reach the water in a diving competition. Each of these can be modeled with the quadratic equation for projectile motion.