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TI-Nspire OS 4.2, NASA "Fuel for the Fire" Activity
Published by KermMartian on February 18, 2016 at 2:02:10 PM CST | Discuss this article (12)

With TI's annual Teachers Teaching Technology (T^3) conference coming up next week, it's no big surprise that TI has unveiled two new TI-Nspire CX-related products. The first is TI-Nspire OS 4.2, a new OS for the TI-Nspire family of handhelds that adds a few new math and science features; the second is a new activity in TI's partnership with NASA entitled "Fuel for the Fire". First, the major new features that TI's email to teachers mentions for the TI-Nspire OS 4.2:
  • Inequality graphing: for example, you can now graph equations like x^2 + y^2 < 25 (a filled circle, including the exclusive bound indicated by a dashed line)
  • Sliders on graphs: Allows students to change values on a graph with a slider (for example, the radius r in the equation above could have its value set by a slider). This makes it easier to explore families of functions.
  • Pop-up context menus that provide more tools while typing equations.
  • "Prepare all the handhelds for tests from one location": This appear to let teachers set every connected handheld with an attached wireless module to the same screen, or to wirelessly put calculators into test mode.
A video demoing the new features is available on YouTube, and will no doubt be shown in the opening session at T^3 next week. A more detailed list of the new features is available as well. In addition, we expect that TI will introduce a new TI-Nspire OS soon with features similar to the new Send() and Get() commands added to TI-OS 5.1.5, and based on recent emails from TI, a new STEM tool to experiment with calculators and DIY electronics will be demonstrated at the conference that uses this functionality.

The "Fuel for the Fire" activity for the TI-Nspire CX, part of mISSion imaginaTIon, lets students gain insight into a challenging math concept in the context of designing fuel tanks for a rocket. Students can explore "rate of change" in the context of rocket science as they work to design fuel tanks equipped for space. They play the role of a Fuel Systems Engineer designing a fuel tank, morphing a cylinder into different shapes to see how the shape of a tank affects the rate at which it can be filled. The activity will be available on TI's website today.

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