# Crawling Around: Parametric Plots

Recommended for High School.

## Introduction

Imagine you are observing a bug crawling around in a figure eight path on the floor. If we define a Cartesian *x*, *y* plane on the floor, and you wished to completely describe the bug’s movements graphically, you would need to create a graph in three dimensions. This graph would need one axis to describe the *x* movement of the bug, another axis for its *y* movement, and a third axis for the time elapsed during the motion.

It is difficult to portray a graph in three dimensions on two-dimensional paper. It is relatively simple, however, to create a two-dimensional graph.

In this activity, you will model the bug’s movement by breaking the motion down into its *x* and *y* components. You can then use parametric equations to separately describe each of these components as a function of time. Finally, you will use the parametric mode in your calculator to combine these graphs and create a model that describes the motion of the bug.

## Objectives

- Record the
*x*- and*y*-coordinates of a rod moving in a figure-eight pattern. - Use the recorded motion information to separately model the
*x*- and*y*- motion as a function of time. - Plot the experimental data in a
*y*versus*x*graph. - Plot the
*x*- and*y*-models parametrically for comparison to the experimental data.

## Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

### Option 1

### Option 2

### Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

## Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for *Real-World Math Made Easy* »

*Real-World Math Made Easy*

*Real-World Math Made Easy*

See other experiments from the lab book.