Precalculus - Program Topics:

Success in Precalculus is based on six central concepts. You will enjoy discovering them while working in a fun, interactive and engaging environment on relevant and interesting problems. The six topics are:

1. Limits

The biggest watermelon grown to date weighed 262 pounds and measured 46 inches in length. What is the biggest melon to possibly be grown? We'll work with diverging and converging geometric sequences and discuss the concepts of growth and decay. You'll graph rational functions and learn about asymptotes to find just how big a watermelon can get.

2. Vectors

A climber traverses across a rope 2000 feet above the valley floor. Why is he in danger of falling? You'll learn about vector addition and scalar multiplication to discover the unexpected dangers associated with cliff hanging.

3. Trigonometric Functions

Why does a 36 foot Hawaiian wave do less damage than a 6 foot Tsunami? We'll derive the Sine and Cosine functions based on the unit circle then switch to working with radians. After learning about amplitude, wavelength, period and frequency we'll return to answer the Tsunami question. We'll also investigate the behavior of the Tangent, Cotangent, Cosecant and Cosine.

4.  Polar Coordinates

Fasten your seatbelt for the new “ Ludicrous Loop” amusement park ride. You'll be raised a kilometer above the ground before plunging down and upside down around this circular shaped track. After learning to switch from rectangular to polar coordinates and back we'll help a superhero graph a perfect flower for a new super hero costume.

5.  Conic sections

A super-sonic jet flies low over the water then directly inland over a beach town blowing out house windows as it passes by. Why were warnings sent to prepare neighbors too late? Conic sections including the ellipse, hyperbola, parabola and circle will be investigated through this and other fun problems.

6.  Polynomial Functions

You're in charge of ordering the track for the world's biggest roller coaster ride. To make a safe and affordable ride you'll learn about domain, range, local maxima and minima, inverses of functions, graphing polynomial functions and recognizing their degree as well as zeros.