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Name ________________________________________ Per.

_________ Date _____________________

GeoGebra Activity
Rate of change

Part 1: Car simulation


Double-click on the file car_simulator.ggb.
Step 1: Play with it.
Step 1-1: Drag the blue time-slider to the right. Watch what happens both to the car at left and to the
red point that moves along the graphed line. Then drag the time slider back to tm=0.
Step 1-2: Drag the blue time-slider to the right. Watch what happens to the coordinates next to the red
point. Write a sentence explaining the relationship between the time-slider value of and the x-coordinate:
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Step 1-3: Move the blue time-slider all the way to the left so that tm=0.
Step 1-4: Slowly drag the red speed-slider right and left. Watch what happens to the line.
Step 1-5: Write a sentence describing what about the line changes when you move the speed slider:
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Step 1-6: Drag the red speed slider to s=15. Then drag the blue speed slider slowly to the right and
watch the cars motion. Return the time slider to tm=0. Drag the red speed slider so that s=30. Then
drag the time-slider to the right at about the same speed and watch the cars motion. Describe the
difference in the cars motion when s=15 and s=30:
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Step 2: Calculate the slope of the red line.
Step 2-1: Move the red speed slider to 25.
Step 2-2: Use two points that fall on the intersections of grid lines to calculate the slope of the red line:
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Step 2-3: Move the red speed slider to 50.
Step 2-4: Use two points that fall on the intersections of grid lines to calculate the slope of the red line:
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Step 2-5: Compare the slopes you calculated to the value of the speed slider. What did you find?
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act_geogebra_rate_of_change_01.doc

GeoGebra Activity 1

Rates of change

What is rate of change?


You drive straight away from your home at 25 miles per hour (Like our car in step 21). When you start
you are 0 miles away from home. One hour later you are 25 miles away from home. Two hours later you
are 50 miles away from home. If you had been driving 50 miles per hour, things would be different. After
one hour, you would be 50 miles from home, and after two hours you would be 100 miles from home. At
50 miles per hour, you distance from home is changing more quickly than at 25 miles per hour. The
speed is the rate your distance from home is changing. You get farther from home faster at 50 miles per
hour than you do at 25 miles per hour.
Speed is one kind of rate of change. As you saw in steps 1 and 2, speed is the slope of the graph when
the y-axis represents distance and the x-axis represents time. The slope of any graph represents how fast
the variable represented by the y-axis is changing as the variable on the x-axis changes.

Part 2: Bike ride


Double-click on the file bike_ride.ggb.
Step 1: Get acquainted with the graph
Step 1-1: First, notice the labels on the x- and y-axes. The x-axis represents _______________ measured
in _______________. The y-axis represents _______________ measured in _______________.
Step 1-2: Look at the graph itself. How far does the cyclist ride during this trip? _______________ How
long does the whole trip take? _______________.
Step 1-3: Make a prediction about the meaning of the graph. The bike journey is broken up into four
segments. During which segment is the rider traveling the fastest? __________ During which segment is
the rider traveling the slowest? __________
Step 2: Calculate speed during the trips first segment.
Step 2-1: Re-read the last paragraph of Part 1. Its the paragraph the starts, Speed is one kind of rate of
change.
Step 2-2: Calculate the speed of the bicycle during segment A. Write the correct units next to the speed
number (e.g., inches/year, feet/hour, miles/minute, etc.).
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Step 2-3: Convert the speed you calculated in step 2-2 to miles/hour (miles per hour).
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act_geogebra_rate_of_change_01.doc

GeoGebra Activity 1

Rates of change

Step 3: Calculate speed during the trips remaining segment.


Step 3-1: Wait! Not so fast with the slope calculations. Pick a GeoGebra tool to do it for you! Click on the
little white triangle at the bottom of the eighth icon from the left near the top of the window. Then click
on the slope tool.
Step 3-2: Click on each segment to make GeoGebra calculate its slope. Notice that GeoGebra draws slope
triangle for you. Each one has a run of 1, so the value of the rise IS your slope. Why is that?
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Step 3-3: Using the slopes you discovered in step 32, calculate the speeds in miles/hour for each
segment of the bicycle trip.
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Segment A: _______________
Segment B: _______________
Segment C: _______________
Segment D: _______________
Step 4: Predictions and more ...
Step 4-1: Go back and look at the predictions you made in step 1-3. Were they correct? __________
Step 4-2: Lets make two assumptions about this trip: 1) during segment A, the cyclist is riding on flat
ground and 2) during the whole trip (except segment D), the cyclist is putting in about the same amount
of effort.
Step 43: Write whether you think the cyclist is riding uphill or downhill during segments B, C and D, and
write a sentence giving your reason why.
Segment B: ______________________________________________________________________________
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Segment C: ______________________________________________________________________________
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Segment D: ______________________________________________________________________________
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act_geogebra_rate_of_change_01.doc

GeoGebra Activity 1

Rates of change

Part 3: Fill er up, Mac.


Double-click on the file fill_er_up.ggb.
As you read earlier, speed is ONE kind of rate of change. What if the y-axis represented gallons of liquid
in a 55-gallon drum and the x-axis represented time in minutes?
Step 1: Calculate rates of change
Step 1-1: Using the same method as in Step 3-3 of Part 2, calculate the rates of change during segments
A, B and C of the graph. Include the units.
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Segment A: _______________
Segment B: _______________
Segment C: _______________
Step 2: Tell a story about the rates of change
Step 2-1: Tell a story about why the rates of change are different during segments A, B and C.
Segment A: ______________________________________________________________________________
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Segment B: ______________________________________________________________________________
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Segment C: ______________________________________________________________________________
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Want to learn more?


If you are interested in learning how to make a simulator like the one used in this activity, copy the file
carrace.zip to your own folder. It includes everything you need to create the car simulation with
GeoGebra.

act_geogebra_rate_of_change_01.doc