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Angry Birds

Angry Birds

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Published by whosthggnnw
Using Angry Birds to describe conic sections in mathematics.
Using Angry Birds to describe conic sections in mathematics.

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Published by: whosthggnnw on Dec 19, 2011
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07/30/2014

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“In 2009, Rovio released Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game for touchscreen smartphones that became a worldwide

phenomenon from 2010 onwards.” As of November 2 nd, 2011 Angry Birds has 500 million total downloads across various platforms. With over 300 million minutes played daily by people all over the world, Angry Birds is rated the number one game in 79 countries. Since 2010, 97% of boys and over 80% of girls play over 5 different video games. With Angry Birds increasing popularity using Angry Birds and mathematics is a great way to make math more accessible to students. Angry Birds is a great way to write, graph, and explain functions. It can be adapted to explain square root, elliptical, parabolic, and linear functions. Since most students struggle with conic sections, we will be focusing on parabolic equations. Using the basic template of an Angry Birds Level featured below, we can see the distinct high arcing shot, which looks exactly like a parabola.

We can tell many different aspects of this graph, just by looking at the graph. The function is obviously negative. Then by assuming two points we can create the equation of the parabola. Using the starting point at (0, 0) and the top point of the parabola as (10, 50) we can

find the vertex, the equation of parabola with a vertical axis of symmetry is where the vertex is (h, k). The | | is the distance from the vertex to the focus, which is also equal to the distance from the vertex to the directrix. The focus is (h, k+p) and the equation of the directrix is y=k-p. The parabola opens up if p>0 or downward if p<0. Since we can see the parabola faces downwards. Using the general equation of a parabola with vertex (h, k) is With a vertex at (10, 50) and another point at (0, 0) we reduce the equation and get substituting in we have when simplified 0= 100a+50, -50= 100a, which is . So the equation and

of the parabola is , when simplifies to function makes Using Angry Birds to describe the

look a little less intimidating and a little more exciting.

If we want to know where the bird will land hopefully hit a pig we need to factor the equation we have. When we factor the parabola we find where the parabola will intersect the x- axis. To do this we start with our simplified parabolic equation we can factor out what is in common with both the f(x) which is a To factor, and a x. We end up with

In which our x out front when solved is the origin at (0, 0) and we are left

with the equation x-20=0, in which the bird will land is the point (0, 20). In which by the illustration above we hit the pig. Since we can use this same pattern for every bird, there are some birds when tapped, for example the yellow bird when tapped creates a straight line that accelerates toward the direction the bird is going. Other angry birds circle back, explode, enlarge, break apart, and drop bombs. This creates two different functions when the tap occurs, otherwise called piecewise functions. If we use our simplified parabola and use an equation of y=-x+60. The parabola ranges from 0<x 10 and the equation of the line ranges from 10<x . When we

graph the function we come across the piecewise function where at the point (10, 50) we use the other function y=-x+60 and the line goes straight until the point (0, 60). Using angry birds to describe, write, and graph functions makes math more accessible to students. Math to some students seems distant and something they will never use. Even though angry birds is just a game with fictional flying birds attacking pigs, all students enjoy playing video games and these games make math fun and entertaining. When describing functions students can visualize the functions, they can see the path the parabola takes and can see the use of parabolic functions.

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