Classroom Activity

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Key Topics: Trigonometric functions

In April 2001, the International Space Station (ISS) was equipped with a robotic arm built by the Canadian Space Agency. Canadarm2 has been instrumental in the assembly of the ISS modules as well as movement of supplies and equipment—even astronauts. In this activity, students will study the movement and mechanics of the robotic arm using their knowledge in geometry and precalculus.

Students will
  • manipulate a two-dimensional simulation of the robotic arm to capture an astronaut;
  • use trigonometric functions to determine distances spanned; and
  • determine the relationship between angles of deflection and angles of rotation of the robotic arm.

Note: This activity requires the use of TI-Nspire™ technology to be used successfully.

Files for use with the TI-Nspire™
› The Robotic Arm TI-Nspire Educator Edition (PDF 536 KB)
› The Robotic Arm TI-Nspire Student Edition (PDF 241 KB)
Note: The following files are software specific file for Texas Instrument Nspire calculators.
› The Robotic Arm TI-Nspire Document (TNS 416 KB)
› The Robotic Arm TI-Nspire Solution Document (TNS 418 KB)

Required Media
› VIDEO: ISS Update: Capturing a Dragon (8:32 minutes)