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News: Friday, June 18th, 2021

Spotlight on Learning: Exponents Everywhere


Spotlight on Learning:   Exponents Everywhere  

Mrs. Hirowatari, Math 12 Pre-Calculus

Brief Description: Select and plot data from a ‘real-life’ event that follows an exponential pattern. Find the best fit curve, aka prediction function.  Explain why you chose the data and why your function is important.  Interpret, analyze, and make predictions based on your model.  Students are given 5 options to explore: a medical scenario, an industrial problem, an engineering challenge, an economic case study, or an event of their choice.

Big Ideas: Understanding characteristics of families of functions to model real world phenomena.  Using inverses as a foundation for solving equations.

Teacher Reflection:  This project runs throughout a 3-week unit and utilizes all the Core Competencies.  Students began this project in the beginning of February and finished after Spring Break.  The Covid19 Pandemic was the perfect opportunity to look at exponential data during class discussions.  Unfortunately, the students had done too much work on their own problems to ask them to switch topics.  However, because of their work in this area, we had many rich classroom discussions around “flattening the curve” and what that meant in terms of growth rate.  It provided an opportunity to connect the math we were learning to actual news events of the day.

Student Reflection:   Using exponential and logarithmic equations, graphs and functions scientists and doctors can learn and understand more about how different types of drugs interact with the human body, and how to properly prescribe these drugs. These skills that we learned through this project have many other real-world applications as well, such as in economic, business, environmental and many other fields involving any type of math.  Exponents are also used to model and make predictions now during the Covid19 crisis.