Plotting over actual images links math lessons with real-world relevance.

A new graphing calculator from Casio lets students plot mathematical equations on top of real-life images and user-uploaded photos—adding relevance to math concepts that many students find abstract and not applicable in the real world.

With conventional graphing calculators, students learn by inputting equations to create graphs. Casio’s PRIZM includes its proprietary Picture Plot technology, which lets users perform meaningful mathematical equations on top of real-life images such as Ferris wheels, jets from a water fountain, or building shapes. Students and teachers can upload images or photos to the calculator for further use, and photos are automatically formatted.

Colors can be added to a multitude of graphing objects, including dotted lines, circles, and bars, as well as grid lines on graphs, labels of coordinate axes, and coordinate values displayed during tracing. The Color Link function links the colors used in graphs to the designated values in the spreadsheet screen, to help students visually comprehend trends and changes in values. PRIZM also automatically color-codes brackets when entering equations with multiple brackets, as a visual aid to facilitate the entry of complex equations.

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The PRIZM’s graphical natural display applies color to the screen and represents graphs, relations, and functions in true-to-life form. The full-color screen and operating system let students format data as they would in a computer-based spreadsheet application.

The PRIZM presents competition for Texas Instruments’ family of graphing calculators, including the TI-Nspire calculators, although the PRIZM does not have a computer algebra system (CAS), which is used to manipulate different variables in advanced mathematics functions such as those performed in calculus.

On Aug. 22, Casio announced a partnership with Steve Wolf—a stunt scientist, author, and producer—that aims to foster a student-centered learning environment for math and science instruction through the use of ed-tech tools.