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Real World Learning Objects: Mathematics

Rate of Change in Temperature

Student Learning Objectives

For this RWLO, the student will be able to:


·         After choosing a major city in the U.S.A., predict with some sort of rationale in which month the temperature:

o       Increases most rapidly.

o       Decreases most rapidly.

o       Changes most slowly.

·         Access a website to find the average daily maximum temperature for the last 12 months of any major city in the USA and construct a chart containing this data.

·         Use a graphing calculator to:

o       Enter the data into lists (columns).

o       Plot the data.

o       Find a regression function of the form T(x) = a*sin(bx + c) +d where T is the temperature and x is the time in months.

o       Graph the regression function and its derivative function.

·         Find the derivative of the regression function by applying basic differentiation rules.

·         Analyze the graph of the derivative to find the actual real months where the temperature changes most rapidly or most slowly and state the mathematical reasoning that supports these results.

·         Compare the predictions made in the beginning with the actual real results found through mathematics.