Under a Curve
Pre-Calculus or Calculus
Grade Level: 11
the area under a curve and the rate of change.
- Technology research
tools: Use content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g.,
environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments,
Web tools) to support learning and research; select and use appropriate
tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and
and Decision-Making Tools - Routinely and efficiently use on-line
information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications,
communications, and productivity.
Use the idea
of area between curves to make inferences about the forces of pressure
on the wing area of an airplane given altitude changes.
FoilSim is an interactive
simulation software package that examines the airflow around various shapes
of airfoils. As you change parameters such as airspeed, altitude, angle
of attack, thickness and curvature of the airfoil, and size of the wing
area, the software calculates the lift. The package was created at the NASA
Glenn Research Center.
FoilSim II is a Java applet program that executes inside the browser of your computer.
It is available on the World Wide Web at
You can also
download the program to run off-line.
Shown below is a screen
shot from the program's controls and displays. You may change the values
of the variables by using the slider or the input box on the left of the
To use the slider:
- Click the mouse
pointer on the arrows at the ends of the slider.
- Click the mouse
pointer anywhere between the slider and the arrow.
- Drag the slider
with the mouse.
To use the input
Simply select the
value in the input box, key in the new value, and press Enter or Tab when
finished. The button on the slider will move corresponding to the value
typed in the box.
To begin the activity,
click on the Area Under a Curve Activity.
You, as individuals
or in cooperative groups, will be evaluated on:
- The feasibility
of your answers.
- Your explanations
for given questions.
be evaluated on the graphs created and their comparison to the graphs
Christine Nagy Warren, Olmsted Falls High School, Olmsted Falls, Ohio.