Pedagogy in Action > Library > Teaching with Spreadsheets > Examples > Medicine in the Body

Medicine in the Body

This activity is developed by Semra Kilic-Bahi, Colby-Sawyer College, It is motivated by an activity presented in Investigating College Algebra, by K. Burgis and J. Morford.
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In this activity, we will explore how the dosage and frequency of a medicine taken affect the amount of medicine present in the blood.

Learning Goals

This activity is designed for students to use spreadsheets to

· list the elements of recursive relations

· create scatter-plots

· estimate the limit of a geometric sequence

· write the recursive formula which describes a recursive relation

· find a curve and an equation that fits to a given set of data

· see the connection between geometric sequences and exponential functions.

Context for Use

This activity can be used in an introductory undergraduate mathematics course where the students can explore exponential functions without being formally introduced to the topic. It is particularly appropriate for a Precalculus or College Algebra course.

Description and Teaching Materials

This activity is used in a classroom lab environment where each student has an access to a computer.

It can also be used as a group project if the number of computers available is limited.

Medicine in the body activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 33kB Jun19 10)

Teaching Notes and Tips

If the students are familiar with entering, calculating formulas, creating scatter-plots, adding trendlines this activity can be given as homework.


Pre and post test approach.

References and Resources

Investigating College Algebra and Trigonometry, by Kathy Burgis and Jeff Morford.