The Scrambler
or A Family of Vectors at the Amusement Park

Lin McMullin
Mathematics Department Representative,
Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake High School
Lake Hill Road, Burnt Hills NY 12027.
Phone: 518 - 399 - 9141 ext. 221.


A favorite amusement park ride is used to demonstrate how the vector equation of a complicated curve is derived. The graphing calculator is used to show how the components go together to graph the path. The calculator is used to draw the position, velocity and acceleration vectors. This visualization, which can be easily adapted to other paths, shows the relationships between the three related vectors in an animated way that aids in the understanding of the concepts. Variations of the procedure are discussed.

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