Beautiful Work: Senior students explore practical Math lesson

The Extension 2 Mathematics class brought functions to life in an exciting practical lesson.

IGS Head Girl Grace Truman reflected on the lesson, saying the highlight was when the class moved out into the School’s Mountain Street courtyard. There, they modelled the pathways (loci) that form around fixed points, in order to better visualise familiar equations.

“With a pair of keys, a piece of string and Mathematics Teacher Ms Church’s guidance, we physically modelled how a circle forms around a single focus (fixed point) and how an ellipse forms around two foci with the sum of the focal distances remaining constant,” Grace said.

“We showed this with the taut piece of string connected to the two students modelling foci, and we traced around the edge of our ellipse while the length of string remained constant. We were also able to see how a horizontal parabola is equidistant from a focus and a directrix (an imaginary vertical line beside a parabola or an ellipse).

“After this physical modelling, we used the GeoGebra software to digitally model the loci that form as a result of intersecting functions and shapes.”

Grace said the  hands-on lesson was a great way to kick-off the year.

“The class is looking forward to investigating more of the loci that form from complex functions as we continue to learn about complex numbers.”