***** THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS *****
INTRODUCTION: Today, many students take computational technology for granted. Basic Scientific Calculators, which can be purchased for around $10, have become so commonplace that it is difficult to imagine never owning or using one. Interestingly, most functionson the basic Scientific Calculators, such as logarithms, matrices, factorials, etc., have existed for hundreds of years and have been used to solve a variety of problems dealing with light and sound, structural analysis, and even money management. This webquest considers the logarithm function and relates it to popular, but outdated computational devices such as slide rules.
TASK DESCRIPTION: After researching and familiarizing yourself with logarithm tables, you will write a two-paragraph paper aimed at demonstrating familiarity with the history of logarithms. Then, you will take a quiz which must be successfully completed with a minimum score of 75%
Next, you will research the internet to look at various slide rules in preparation for the next task in this webquest. Some useful links are included in the Resources section listed later. Upon completion of the research, a second quiz, aimed at making connections between slide rules and logarithms, will be given. You will also need to successfully pass this quiz with a score of 75%.
Finally, you will be responsible for applying what you have learned by building a basic slide rule and demonstrating its use to me. No extra credit will be allowed for artistic excess. Simple is better. The important feature is accuracy and not beauty.
PROCESS: You will be expected to have access to the internet. The research for logarithms and slide rules depends heavily on it. If encyclopaedia are used as the basis for your research, your resources must be clearly documented in a bibliography. Otherwise, enter the internet links in a database file to be printed and turned in with your work.
You may work in groups of up to a maximum of three. The quizzes will NOT be a group of effort.
The entire project will be given seven days to be turned in. The work may be submitted all at once or a section at a time. Any work submitted and returned may be revised one time, if desired. The revision must occure within the allotted seven-day period, and it will not be used to extend the period. The score at the end of the seven-day period is the final score.
The submittal must contain the following items as a minimum:
1. Two-paragraph paper
2. Logarithm quiz
3. Slide Rule quiz
4. Database/Bibliography for resources
5. Slide Rule construction project
EVALUATION: Your project will be evaluated using the following breakdown:
1. Participation: 20 points
2. Research Paper: 20 points
3. Logarithm Quiz: 20 points
4. Slide Rule Quiz: 20 points
5. Slide Rule Construction Project: 20 points
CONCLUSION: Hopefully, you have noticed the relationship between logarithms and slide rules. It is interesting to note that the early space flights were calculated and evaluated with slide rules and enormous room-sized computers that, today, would likely sit comfortably on an office desk and use a fraction of the power. As calculators became portable and considerably more sophisticated, they quickly replaced the slide rule. Regardless, the slide rule remains a noble device and is worthy of attention.