Imagine the Universe!
Imagine Home  |   Teachers' Corner  |   Lesson Plans  |  

Do you want to know how to plot data entered?

1. First of all, data must be entered in the calculator in order for it to be plotted!


2. If indeed data is entered, then you are ready to "Plot Statistics".

3. To begin, you must press the [2nd] button and then the [Y=] button. This will get you into the STAT PLOTS menu.

4. If this is your first plot press the [ENTER] button since [1:] is highlighted. If you prefer to make this plot your second or third plot, toggle down and [ENTER] on the appropriate numbered plot.

5. If you chose plot 1, your screen should look like this. See below

plot1,off,2nd type,L1,L2,3rd mark

However, you should toggle down to the second line and make sure "on" is highlighted and press the [ENTER] button, then choose the second plot shown which is a "line plot and press the [ENTER] button. The default should have the Xlist as L1 and the Ylist as L2, and the "mark" is just simply the symbol that would connect the data points-- it doesn’t really matter what you choose.

6. If you want to plot a given set of data in a list, you must indicate that in your Xlist/Ylist. Therefore, if you wanted to plot data from the "SECS" and "INT" list your screen should look like this...

plot1,off,2nd type,secs,int,3rd mark

where "SECS" and "INT" are the name indicated in the Xlist and the Ylist.

7. In order to do this, you must toggle down three times to the Xlist and the Ylist row. You will notice that the cursor is flashing with an "A" inside of it. This means that the calculator automatically wants to name the list alphabetically, so choose the appropriate letters to indicate the name of the list.

8. If you want to save some time, just press the [2nd] button and then the [STAT] buttton and then toggle down to the appropriate list and press the [ENTER] button. This will place the name of the chosen list into the Xlist or Ylist... depending on where you are in the STATS PLOT menu.


9. Now you are ready to choose the appropriate window for the statistics entered and ready to be plotted. Press the[WINDOW] button. Your screen should look like this--depending on the values previously entered into the calculator. See below.


10. Ask students to analyze the data and determine the appropriate window. Discuss the scale with students as well. Tell them that the "Xres" should remain "1", and does not impact the lesson.

11. Students should come up with values for a window such as those listed below.


12. If the teacher chooses, s/he may take the "short-cut". After setting up the STATS PLOT, the teacher may press the [ZOOM] button and toggle down to [9: ZoomStat] and press [ENTER]. This will tell the calculator to provide its own window that will "zoom in" on the given statistics.


13. If all has been done correctly

• data entered/linked

• stat plots set up

• appropriate window chosen

then you are ready to graph. Press the [GRAPH] button and the following should appear (that is, if you chose to graph "SECS vs. INT".

graph showing repeated peaks

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Acting Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2012.

DVD Table of Contents
Educator's Index