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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Allison Petrovic*

Allison has experience teaching high school and college mathematics and has a master's degree in mathematics education.

Have you ever gotten candy out of a vending machine? Getting candy from a vending machine is similar to using a function in math! In this lesson, we'll explore the definition of a function and some examples.

Whenever you buy something from a vending machine, what do you usually get? Maybe a bag of Sun Chips or a Twix candy bar? When choosing your purchase, have you ever stopped to think about how a vending machine works? First, you put in your money. Then, you press the button associated with the item you want. Lastly, you receive your treat and eat it. A commercial vending machine operates in much the same way as a mathematical function.

A **function** is one or more rules that are applied to an input and yield an output. The **input** is the number or value put into a function. The **output** is the number or value the function gives out. Let's see what these definitions mean using our vending machine example.

The money we insert into the vending machine in the input. The buttons we press on the vending machine represent the function. The bag of Sun Chips or Twix candy bar we receive in return is our output.

Now, let's talk about functions in math using an example:

In this example, our input is 5. The function is to add 3 to 5. As 5 + 3 = 8, 8 is our output.

Now, what if we used an input of 10 for this same function? 10 + 3 = 13. Here, our output would be 13.

What would an input of 50 look like in this same function? 50 + 3 = 53. Our output would be 53.

Are you ready to try a more complex function? Suppose we have the following function:

In this problem, we take the input, or 7, multiply it by 2 and then subtract 1. 7 x 2 = 14. 14 - 1 = 13. So the output for this function with an input of 7 is 13.

Mathematical functions work in much the same way as vending machines. A **function** is one or more rules that are applied to an input and yield an output. The **input** is the number or value put into a function. The **output** is the result, or the number or value the function gives out.

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13 in chapter 10 of the course:

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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