Example 2

Three students are shooting wads of paper with a rubber band, aiming for a trash can in the front of the room. The height of each student’s paper wad in feet is given as a function of the time in seconds. Which student’s paper wad flies the highest? • The path of Alejandro’s paper wad is modeled by the equation . • Melissa’s paper wad is estimated to reach the heights shown in the table below. • After seconds, Connor’s paper wad achieves a maximum height of feet above the floor.
  1. Determine if each function represents a quadratic.
  2. Verify that the extremum for each function is the maximum value of each function.
  3. Determine the vertex of each function.
  4. Use the vertices to determine whose paper wad goes the highest.
This applet is provided by Walch Education as supplemental material for their mathematics programs. Visit www.walch.com for more information.