Temperature data and trigonometric functions

Laboratory Activity

A classroom/laboratory activity to model temperature data by using trigonometric functions.

Students will model given temperature data (for Wellington, New Zealand) by using sine and cosine functions. They will compare models and discuss their observations. This activity can be replicated for any location for which temperature data is available.

Use this tool to help students find answers to:

  1. Write trigonometric equations to model the given temperature data.
  2. In which scenarios would the sine function be a more suitable model for temperature data?
  3. In which scenarios would the cosine function be a more suitable model for temperature data?

Image credit: WikiBooks

Visit Tool

By Lesley Mackintosh

Hosted at National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand


Language: English

Location: Oceania, New Zealand, Wellington

Grade: High school

Access: Online, Offline

Computer Skills: Basic


Discipline: Mathematics, Earth Sciences

Discipline Topics: Trigonometric Functions; Sine Functions; Cosine Functions

Climate Topics: Climate Variability Record