Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Operation with Vectors - Section 3: Scalar Multiplication


At this point, students want to know when vectors are used.  I bring up some examples. One is about the wind.  When the weather person says, "the wind is blowing out of the north at 5 mph," you have encountered a vector.  This example helps students to appreciate how vectors play a role in understanding daily life.

During my class, one student made a great connection to the wind example.  She told me about an Android or iphone app called Paper Toss. In this game, a person throws paper into a trash can. The game is made more challenging by a fan that blows at different rates and directions. In class, she explained how what you need to do to make a basket in a way that helped the students to understand how understanding of vectors helps to solve the problem of throwing the paper into the can. 

Another example to use is the context of a boat crossing a flowing river.  Many students understand that if a boat on a river wants to cross the river on a perpendicular line it must navigate upriver in order to maintain its course.  It is important to make these connections so that students understand the importance of vectors.

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  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Need context
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Operation with Vectors

Unit 11: Vectors and Complex Numbers
Lesson 3 of 11

Objective: SWBAT add, subtract and do scalar multiplication with vectors.

Big Idea: By using graphs and reasoning vector operations will be developed.

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Math, Precalculus and Calculus, vector, adding vectors, Computer application
  45 minutes
adding vectors
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