Contextualization
Introduction
In mathematics, a function is a rule that takes one or more inputs (or arguments) and assigns a unique output. Functions are widely used in all areas of mathematics and its applications, from simple arithmetic operations to complex systems modeling. They form the basis of calculus, algebra, and many other fields of study.
The concept of a function is not only a fundamental pillar of pure mathematics, but it is also an integral part of our daily lives. From the moment we wake up, we are surrounded by functions. The time you wake up, how much you spend on a task, and the distance you travel to school are all instances of functions.
Functions can be represented in many ways, including algebraic expressions, tables, graphs, and verbal descriptions. Understanding how these different representations relate to each other is a key skill in mathematics. It allows us to solve problems more effectively and communicate our solutions clearly.
Importance of the Topic
The concept of a function is crucial to the study of mathematics and many other fields. It provides a powerful tool for analyzing and understanding the world around us. Functions are used in physics to describe the motion of objects, in economics to model supply and demand, and in computer science to program algorithms. They are also used in everyday tasks, such as calculating the cost of goods at a supermarket or predicting the weather.
Understanding functions not only helps us solve problems, but it also helps us ask better questions. By breaking down a complex system into its constituent functions, we can gain insights into how the system works and make predictions about its behavior. This ability to think in terms of functions is a key part of mathematical thinking, which is why it is an important topic in the study of mathematics.
Suggested Resources
To delve deeper into the topic, the following resources are highly recommended:
 Book: "Calculus: Early Transcendentals" by James Stewart: This comprehensive textbook covers the concept of functions in detail and provides many examples and exercises to reinforce the concepts.
 Online Course: Khan Academy's course on Functions: This free online course provides video lessons and practice exercises on all aspects of functions.
 Video: "The Beauty of Algebra" by TEDEd: This video provides a fun and engaging introduction to the concept of functions.
 Interactive Website: Desmos.com: This website allows you to graph functions, create tables, and experiment with different representations of functions.
 Scholarly Article: "Function: Concept, Notation, and Terminology" by Richard E. Hill: This article provides a more theoretical understanding of the concept of functions and its historical development.
Remember, understanding the concept of a function is not just about memorizing formulas and rules. It's about seeing the world in terms of functions and using that perspective to solve problems and make sense of the world around us. So, let's get started and dive into the wonderful world of functions!
Practical Activity
Activity Title: "Function Explorer: Understanding RealWorld Functions"
Objective of the Project
The main objective of this project is to deepen your understanding of the concept of functions and their realworld applications. In particular, you will explore how different variables interact to produce a function and how this function can be represented in different ways.
Detailed Description of the Project
In this project, your team will choose a realworld scenario that can be modeled using functions. This could be anything from the growth of a plant over time to the trajectory of a soccer ball. You will then identify the variables involved in this scenario, develop a function that models the relationship between these variables, and represent this function in a variety of ways (algebraic, graphical, tabular, and verbal).
Necessary Materials
 Notebook and Pen for brainstorming and planning
 Computer with internet access for research and creating digital representations of the function
 Calculator for performing calculations if needed
 Ruler and Graph paper for creating a handdrawn graph of the function (optional)
Detailed StepbyStep for Carrying Out the Activity

Select a Scenario: As a team, choose a realworld scenario that can be modeled using functions. This could be anything from the growth of a plant to the trajectory of a soccer ball. Think about what variables might be involved in this scenario and how they might be related.

Identify the Variables: Once you have chosen your scenario, identify the variables involved. These are the quantities that can change and affect the outcome of the scenario. For example, in the growth of a plant, the variables might include the amount of sunlight, the amount of water, and the age of the plant.

Develop a Function: Using the variables you identified, develop a function that models the relationship between these variables. This function should take the variables as input and predict the outcome of the scenario. For example, in the growth of a plant, the function might predict the height of the plant based on the amount of sunlight, water, and the age of the plant.

Represent the Function: Represent the function in different ways: algebraic, graphical, tabular, and verbal. This will help you understand how these different representations relate to each other and communicate your findings more effectively.

Analyze and Interpret: Analyze your function and its representations. What does the function tell you about the scenario? How do changes in the variables affect the outcome of the scenario? Can you use the function to make predictions about the scenario?

Report Writing: Once you have completed the above steps, it's time to write your report. The report should be structured as follows:

Introduction: Start by introducing the chosen realworld scenario and its relevance. Explain the objective of the project and the function you developed to model the scenario.

Development: Describe in detail the process you followed to develop the function. Explain the variables you identified, how you developed the function, and how you represented it in different ways. Include any calculations, graphs, or tables that are relevant to your discussion.

Conclusion: Summarize the main findings of your project. What did you learn from this project? How did it deepen your understanding of the concept of functions? What realworld applications do you see for the function you developed?

Bibliography: List all the resources you used to complete the project. This could include books, websites, videos, or any other materials that helped you understand the concept of functions and complete your project.

Project Deliverables
The main deliverable of this project is a written report detailing your work, findings, and conclusions. In addition to the report, your team should also present your function and its representations to the class. This can be done using a slideshow presentation, a poster, or any other creative way you can think of.
Remember, the goal of this project is not just to develop a function, but to understand the concept of functions and their realworld applications. So, be sure to explain your process, your thinking, and your findings in your report and presentation. This will help you and your classmates deepen your understanding of this important mathematical concept.