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Henrico County Public Schools, Virginia
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Module - Factoring
Introduction - A Trip to Sea World



Factors and Greatest Common Factors


Factoring Using the Distributive Property


Difference of Squares


Factoring Trinomials


Perfect Squares and Factoring


Solving by Factoring


Module Review



Any trip to SeaWorld is not complete until you have seen a dolphin leap high above the water to grab a fish. Have you ever wondered how long a dolphin can stay in the air after jumping out of the water? In a standard park pool, dolphins can reach speeds of 24 ft/s. If a dolphin leaves the water traveling at 24 ft/s and it jumps h feet above the water after t seconds, then its formula is

h = 24t - 16t^2

When the dolphin returns to the water, it is 0 feet above the water. Thus, by substituting, the formula becomes 0 = 24t - 16t^2. An obvious solution of the equation is when t=0, but when time is 0, the dolphin has not jumped out of the water! In this unit, we will learn a technique called factoring that will give us the solution.

Upon completion of the activities in this unit, you should be able to:

  • Use the following terms in a written paragraph to describe the key concepts of this unit.
    • composite number
    • greatest common factor (GCF)
    • prime factorization
    • prime number
  • Find the greatest common factor (GCF) for a set of monomials.
  • To factor polynomials using the GCF and the distributive property.
  • To factor quadratic trinomials.
  • To identify and factor difference of squares.
  • To identify and factor perfect square trinomials.
  • Factor polynomials by applying the various methods of factoring.
  • Use the zero product property to solve equations.
  • Solve equations using factoring methods and applying the zero product property.
HCPS 2002-