# Parabolas Are All Around Us

##### This Parabolas Are All Around Us activity & project also includes:

Moving parabolas off of graph paper and into the real world is the task at hand in this detailed poster project. First, learners perform a cumulative activity identifying many characteristics of an assigned quadratic equation. Next, they identify parabolas in the world around them and present their findings in a poster project. The included rubric helps guide the class through the process of investigating a math concept and then cleaning their findings up for presentation, a process that will serve them well through their STEM classes and beyond.

##### Instructional Ideas

• Consider displaying finished posters as part of an open house or parent-teacher conference night
• Take a math nature walk to find examples of parabolas and other math concepts
• Work with a physical science or physics class to include development of parabolas in physical situations, like projectile motion
• Extend the project by having learners or groups find pictures of a real-life parabola, overlay a grid, and develop approximate quadratic equations to represent the picture
##### Classroom Considerations

• Each group's quadratic equation could be specifically chosen for differentiation purposes or randomly assigned from a list
• Develop equations that groups are assigned before class, perhaps similar to your own textbook examples
• Take care that the characteristics identified in the project are the same identified as key by your curriculum
• Project write-up is specific to the school district of the writer
##### Pros

• Detailed instructions and accompanying rubric
• Project point spread emphasizes correct math and procedure over pretty presentation
• Integration of nature / environmental math into potentially abstract assignment
• Learners encouraged to personalize and develop their project beyond answering algebraic questions with correct numbers
##### Cons

• No sample quadratic equations provided
• No model projects or graded exemplars available