Modeling the Tides
Contributing Teacher: Geoff Hagopian, College of the
Desert, December, 2, 2000
Suggested Grade Level: This activity is appropriate
for precalculus or trigonometry, but could easily be adapted to calculus
Time Required: About a week.
Materials and Technology Needed: Internet access and
Safety Considerations: As always, keep clear of slackers
and Dubya backers.
Teacher Preparation: Carefully read through and perform
all the exercises before foisting this on innocent students.
Objectives and Learning Outcomes: Students will learn
how to fit parameters to superimposed sinusoids to model tidal motion..
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to discover
how to sinusoids can be combined to produce a wide variety of curves and
to learn how the tides are affected by the sun, the moon, and the geography
of Baja California.
Procedure: See this page.
Results/Analysis: Some answers are given in the procedure
section, others are readily available in the references supplied.
Teacher Reflections: I love this stuff! Really
terrific how it ties in math/physics with earth science in a way that is
important and relevant to people everywhere.
Extensions: Lots of room for expansion here.
Assessment Suggestions: Many different levels of approach
here from basic arithmetic to partial differential equations. All
depends on how you ask what questions.
Standards Addressed: Yeah, I know this is important,
but it's late in the game and I need to be done.
References/Resources: Included throughout..