Click here to see the assignment that I gave to my trig students, Spring 2006.
Here are a few suggested ways to use the Vector Drawing Board program in a precalculus/trig class.
- Ask the students if the order of addition matters and have them devise an experiment to find out.
- Ask the students to compare the sum of the vectors with the sum of their components. Also have them look at the resultant vector's components and compare to the individual vectors' components.
- Make up a problem such as:
Draw the vectors u=2i+j, v=-i+3j and w=9i+j. Can you make w as a sum of u's and v? Do it in the program and print a screen shot, then write down the vector equation on your paper. Could you have also done this algebraically? If so, show how.
- Is the angle of the resultant vector equal to the sum of the angles that you are adding? Explain how you arrived at your answer.
- Is the magnitude of the resultant vector ever equal to the magnitude of the vectors that you are adding? If so, under what circumstances?
Want more features? I'm working on a commercial version of this program that will have all the features of this free version plus:
- An easy way for students to print or save the results of their experiments to turn in to their teacher.
- A way for students to calculate dot products.
- A way for students to get a larger variety of vectors by changing the background that the vectors snap into, such as a polar grid background, or no background at all.
- Other preset backgrounds for students to do experiments with.
- An ability to label your vectors and have your label move with the vector when you move it around, and have the label adjust when you make adjustments to your vector, such as negating a vector called b would create a vector called -b.
- An ability to stretch a vector and have the label adjust appropiately.
- An ability to adjust the size of the background grid.