*Lesson 1*

*Introduction to Conics*

__Purpose__

After completing
this exercise, students will be able to determine which conic section comes
from a specific cut of the cone and identify examples of these curves from
magazines, newspapers, and Internet resources.
This purpose is to show that this topic does relate to the real world
and hopefully engage students in the process of studying the physical
properties of these unique curves. For
real world examples of conic sections click here http://ccins.camosun.bc.ca/~jbritton/jbconics.htm*.*

*This
activity comes from Lesson Plan 3 Conic Sections by Virginia Laird, Rockwell
High School, **Richardson, **Texas*

__Materials__

Play-do, string,
markers, tape, large paper, magazines, newspapers, and Internet access.

__Activity__

1.
Divide
students into groups.

2.
Have
students within each group form a cone using Play-Do. Have students slice the individual cones
using the string through the cone parallel to the base and perpendicular to an
imaginary line through the center of the cone.
Trace the result on a large piece of paper and then choose a real world
object that resembles the curve that they just found, a circle.

3.
Reshape
the cone and then slice the cone at an angle to the imaginary axis, but not
through the base of the cone. Trace the
ellipse and find real world examples.

4.
Cut
a third slice by placing two cones nose to nose and then slicing from the base
of one cone parallel to the imaginary axis and through both cones to the base
of the second cone. Draw the resulting
hyperbola and find real world examples.

5.
The
final cut is made by slicing parallel to an imaginary line on the side of the
cone and passing through the base of the cone. Draw the parabola and find real
world examples.