In this activity students investigate a problem modelled on a real-world situation.
Students start with a new, blank TI-Nspire document. A detailed 11-page Worksheet introduces the problem, suggests some suitable modelling assumptions and guides students, step by step, through the necessary construction. It goes on to consider a series of alternative mathematical models.
The activity has been used very successfully with a group of able students who worked on it over a week in which their teacher was absent. All students were able to construct the TI-Nspire file from scratch and to get it working as planned. The activity provided lots of scope to stretch the most able students whilst giving the weaker ones the time to explore just the numbers.
A huge range of quality scripts were produced and, as well as Teacher Notes, there is also a Marking Grid, which proved helpful in assessing students? completed work.
Ron Lancaster, Senior Lecturer of Mathematics Education at the University of Toronto is acknowledged as the source of the initial idea and his introduction to the many approaches to this problem.