Using Dan Anderson’s line art program to explore lines with my son

My younger son just started the section on lines in Art of Problem Solving’s Algebra book. By happy coincidence Dan Anderson shared this fun line math art program:

I thought it would be fun to have my son play around with the program and just see what his reactions were.

Here are his initial reactions to the program:

Next I had him manipulate a different part of the program – it turns out that what happens on the screen is pretty complicated to explain!

Finally, even though he hasn’t studied any trig, yet, I had him change the two starting shapes to see how the pictures changed. By luck the changes he made produced a really fun set of shapes to explore:

Dan’s program is a great tool to use to have kids play around with lines. Once we get to the section on equations of lines, I’m definitely going to come back to it to show how the lines are being drawn. I might also use this program to explore parametric curves when we get to that topic in my older son’s calculus class.

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