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Parabolic Paths: A Parent Graph Exhibition/Project

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Procedure:

  1. A group of three people is needed for gathering the data. One person will videotape, while two people will throw the ball to each other. The height of the two people is measured, making sure that the distance is measure from where the ball is thrown/caught to the ground.
  2. The video clip is downloaded into a laptop.
  3. A grid is placed over the screen of the laptop and the path of the ball is plotted, as the clip is played in slow motion. The x-axis will be the ground and the y-axis is placed somewhere convenient for writing the equation.
  4. The axis is scaled based on the height of the person that is either catching or throwing the ball.
  5. Once the vertex and one another clear point is chosen, the equation of the parabola can be written, using the vertex form y= a (x –h)2 +k . (h, k) are the x and y coordinates of the vertex and “a” represents stretch, compress, or an “opened-down” parabola.
  6. Geometer’s Sketchpad is used to graph the equation and eventually the exhibition is written using this program for drawing the graph.
  7. A second theoretical path for the ball is drawn lower or higher than the original path. The equation of the second path is calculated.


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