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Algebra II

Light It UP!

NAME ___________________________

Light It Up is the newest attraction at the Springfield Fair. In this game, a laser pointer slides
along a string at a height of 1.5 m from the ground. A 10-cm platform is positioned 25 cm from
a wall, and a mirror is placed on top of the platform, parallel with the ground. The object is to
slide the laser pointer so that when the beam is reflected off the mirror, it will hit a target that is
1 m off the ground, as shown below.

A player is given just one attempt to hit the target. If she does, she then tries to hit a target that
is 3 m off the ground. And if she hits that one, too, she tries for a target that is 10 m off the
ground. If she hits all three, she wins the Grand Prize: a DVD player and a DVD copy of Itchy
and Scratchys Greatest Hits.

Bart and Lisa have played the game several times, yet they havent been able to hit the target.
Lisa is sure that there must be a mathematical equation that would allow them to determine the
correct position for the laser pointer.

There is such an equation, it is a special kind known as a rational function. Before you can
help Lisa and Bart win this game, you must first understand the behavior of these functions.

Adapted from ILLUMINATIONS 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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Problem 1 Climbing the Wall

The Climbing Wall is a popular event at the Springfield Fair. The wall is 100 meters high. Bart
can climb at a rate of 8 meters per minute, but other participants climb at different speeds.

Open up the Nspire file, Light It Up

1.2 Complete the Nspire spreadsheet to determine how much each time it takes to climb to
the top of the wall.

1.3 Insert a scatter plot of the data by choosing menu, 3 (Graph Type), 4 (Scatter Plot). Insert
the x and y values by using the donut to bring up the variables and enter. Draw a sketch of
what the graph looked like.

1.4 Write your equation ___________________________________

Discuss the behavior of the function with your teammates. You should discuss the domain, the
range, and any limiting values of the function. Summarize your discussion below.

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Adapted from ILLUMINATIONS 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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Problem Two Trip to the Fair

Ms. Crabapple, a teacher at Springfield Elementary, is sponsoring a school trip to the fair. The
total cost for transportation, parking and entrance fees is $1200. The total cost will be divided
among all the students who go on the trip.

2.1 Complete the Nspire spreadsheet to determine how much each student must pay to cover
the expenses.

2.2 Insert a scatter plot of the data by choosing menu, 3 (Graph Type), 4 (Scatter Plot). Insert
the x and y values by using the donut to bring up the variables and enter. Graph your data
and sketch the graph here.

Write an equation that describes the table and graph _______________________

Discuss the behavior of the function with your teammates. You should discuss the domain, the
range, and any limiting values of the function. Summarize your discussion below.
___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Adapted from ILLUMINATIONS 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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Discussion of Problems One and Two

A. With you teammates, discuss the following questions. Be as specific as you can in your
explanations.
a. How are the equations in Problems 1 and 2 the same? How are they different?

________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

b. How are the graphs in Problems 1 and 2 the same? How are they different?
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

B. The functions in Problems 1 sand 2 are known as rational functions. Rational


functions are quotients of two polynomial functions. In other words, if f(x) is a rational
function, then

p( x)
f ( x)
q( x)
where p ( x) and q (x ) are polynomial functions, and q (x ) 0.
In this activity, we will only look at cases in which p ( x) and q (x ) are linear functions

Adapted from ILLUMINATIONS 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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Problem Three A Closer Look at the Trip to the Math Fair

Ms. Crabapple was just informed that the new attraction, Light It Up, will cost an additional $5
per student

3.1 Discuss with you team members how this new information will change the amount each
student will have to pay. Complete the Nspire spreadsheet on page 3.1 to reflect this
information and graph the data on page 3.2 using a scatterplot

3.2 Insert a scatter plot of the data by choosing menu, 3 (Graph Type), 4 (Scatter Plot). Insert
the x and y values by using the donut to bring up the variables and enter. Sketch the graph
here.

Write an equation that describes the table and graph ____________________________

Some rational functions can be written in the form

a
y c
xb

where a, b , and c are constants, and b, c 0.


If your equation is not in this from, rewrite your equation in this form _____________________

Adapted from ILLUMINATIONS 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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Discussion of Problem Three

A. What is the domain of the function in problem 3? How does it relate to the problem
situation?

B. What is the range of the function in problem 3? How does it relate to the problem
situation?

C. Describe the difference between the graphs in problems 2 and 3. How is this difference
reflected in their equations?

D. Study your graph. How are the values of b and c from your equation in problem 3
reflected in your graph?

Adapted from ILLUMINATIONS 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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Problem Four An Even Closer Look at the Trip to the Fair

Ms. Crabapple just received some more information. The trip must include chaperones. She
decides that ten sixth-graders will serve as chaperones, and the chaperones will not be
required to pay for their trip. The expenses of the chaperones will be covered by the other
students.

4.1 With your teammates, discuss how this new information will change the amount each
student has to pay. Complete the spreadsheet on page 4.1 to reflect this new information.

4.2 Insert a scatter plot of the data by choosing menu, 3 (Graph Type), 4 (Scatter Plot). Insert
the x and y values by using the donut to bring up the variables and enter. Graph your data
and sketch the graph here.

Write an equation that describes the table and graph ____________________________

Discussion of Problem Four

A. What is the domain of the function in problem 4? How does it relate to the problem
situation?
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________

Adapted from ILLUMINATIONS 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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B. What is the range of the function in problem 4? How does it relate to the problem
situation?
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________

C. Use your equation for problem 4 to extend the graph to include negative values.
Describe the difference between the graphs in questions 2,3, and 4. How is this
difference reflected in their equations?
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________

a
D. If your equation in not in the form y c , rewrite it so that it is.
xb

________________________________

E. How are the values of b and c from your equation in problem 4 reflected in your
graph?

______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________

Adapted from ILLUMINATIONS 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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Problem Five:

a
Write an equation in the form y c for the following rational function.
xb

Check your equations using your Nspire.

a.________________________________ b.______________________________

c.________________________________ d.______________________________

Adapted from ILLUMINATIONS 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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a
e. Algebraically, how can you determine the value of a in the equation y c for the
xb
graphs in problem 5 a d ?

________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

a
f. Use your explanation in part (e) to determine the value of a in the equation y c for
xb
the graphs in 5(a) through 5(d).

5(a): a = ________________________ 5(b): a = ________________________


5(c): a = ________________________ 5(d): a = ________________________

g. What do you notice about the value of a for your answers to 5 and 5(d) that is different
from your answers for 5(a) an 5(b)?

___________________________________________________________________

What affect does this have on your graph?_________________________________

___________________________________________________________________

Adapted from ILLUMINATIONS 2008 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


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