MATHEMATICAL MODELING IN TRIGONOMETRY
ENHANCED BY PHYSICS SIMULATIONS
Texas A&M University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
This study examines utilization of computer based physics simulations to enhance the process of mathematical modeling in trigonometry classes. The study is conducted in one of the high schools in Magnolia Independent School District in Texas. It is hypothesized that if the applications are supported by computer based simulations, students’ compahension of modeling using trigonometric functions will be deeper than of these taught by traditional methods. A group of 51 pre-calculus students were exposed to computer based simulations while studying applications of trigonometry. The focus of the applications is formulating trigonometric functions based on given scenarios. The results of district –wide assessment proved that the hypothesis was correct. The mean score of experimental group is about 10% higher than that of the controlled group. In addition, more than 75% of students strongly favored the use of such simulations in their mathematics classes. The findings of the study show that students learn science application problems successfully if presented methods integrate science contents and if they are parallel with students’ prior knowledge.
Keywords: Integration, math modeling, trigonometry, function analysis.