Picture-perfect graphing equations

Tanner Beavon, left, and Aayush Sule work on their equation art

Graphing equations became an artistic endeavor recently for eighth graders in Stephanie Balaskas’ Challenge Algebra class at Eastern Middle.

To wrap up the unit on linear equations, students were charged to show off their data-plotting, slope-including and equation-evaluating skills by creating straight-line art using Desmos, an online program.

“It was definitely a very fun way to learn this stuff,” said Tessa Stanley, who drew the owl museum owner from the video game ‘Animal Crossing.’

“It’s been good to see them make mistakes and problem-solve to persevere, because they have a stake in the results,” Balaskas said. “This allows them to see which equations are more effective in different situations.”

Connor VanVlerah was working on a 167-line Minecraft Creeper. Making equation art “is just different from anything I’ve ever done before,” he said. “I’ve graphed before, obviously, but creating a picture with it is pretty cool.”

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio or email Morgan.

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