Sample Word Problem with a Quadratic Equation
Do you need an example of a word problem involving a quadratic equation? You've found it. More specifically, it's a function, typically covered in the second semester of Algebra 1:
A toy rocket is launched from the rooftop of a building. The rocket's height, h(t), is modeled by the equation h(t) = -16t² +80t +
96 after t seconds.
- How tall is the building?
- How long before the rocket hits
the ground at the base of the building?
- How high will the rocket be 5
seconds after take off?
what time will the rocket be 160 feet above the ground?
The following video shows how to solve this quadratic equation word problem. Note: At the end of the video, I mispoke. I said that #4 only has one answer. That is wrong -- #4 has two answers.
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For Teachers & Tutors
If you're a teacher or tutor, here are
some questions you might ask your student(s) before presenting them
with the problem:
- Have you ever been on the roof of
a building? Tell me about it.
- Have you ever launched a toy
rocket? Tell me about it.
- What do you think of when you hear
the word “function”?
- Can you think of an example of an
And here are some questions you might
ask before having your student(s) solve the problem:
- Could you please read the first 2
sentences of the problem out loud?
- What are the two variables?
[height and time]
- Which letters symbolize each
variable? [height = h(t); time = t]
- In this problem, what are the
units of measurement for height and time? [height: feet (see part
4); time: seconds]
- Which variable would you make the
x-axis, and which would you make the y-axis? [x-axis: time; y-axis:
- Draw a coordinate system on which
you can later graph the problem.
- Label h(t) and t.
Thanks for visiting Can Do Math. I hope you've found this word problem with a quadratic equation to be useful!