Unit circle lesson receives a 21st century upgrade

Did calculus and trigonometry make your head explode?!

Our pre-calculus students, with the help of Brendan Hoyle and our MakerLab 3, learned the unit circle can be a useful tool in calculus and trigonometry.

The unit circle is a tool that helps students remember values and visualize lengths and angles in mathematics. Over three days, our students spent time in the MakerLab 3 laser cutting unit circles onto 9-inch square pieces of wood and embedded bolts through the wood at the 16 points on the circle that have important data points,” said Hoyle, coordinator of Maker Education. “Then, the unit circle was hooked up to a Makey Makey circuit board via the bolts, and the Makey Makey was plugged into a computer.”

In case you’re wondering, the Makey Makey is an invention kit that encourages students to find creative ways to interact with their computers using everyday objects as a replacement for keyboards and mice.

"Students then wrote code using Scratch (a programming software and online community where students can create their own interactive stories, games and animations) to make their unit circle interactive, thus providing key information when someone touches the various points on the unit circle,” said Hoyle.