We modify a traditional bouncing ball activity for introducing exponential functions by modeling the time between bounces instead of the bounce heights. As a consequence, we can also model the total time of bouncing using an infinite geometric series.
Data analysis is not just for statistics class. Students can look at real data that arise from whatever they are studying. This is certainly true for students studying functions. Starting in algebra courses, data analysis can show students contexts in which various functions make sense, and students can use functions to model real phenomena. Although students can do this by hand, using functions to model real phenomena is practical on a regular basis only when computers and high-powered handheld technological tools take over repetitive calculations and graphing.