How to Operate a TI-34 Calculator

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The Texas Instruments TI-34 is a middle school classroom-oriented scientific calculator. It's good for math, geometry, general science, biology and Pre-Algebra 1 and 2. It shows entries on the top line and results on the bottom line. It has two constant keys with counter to help students build tables and develop concepts of multiplication, division and unit-of-measure conversions.

  • Turn the TI-34 by exposing it to light and pressing the "AC/ON" button. Even if the calculator is on, it's a good idea to press "AC/ON" to clear everything.

  • Perform a basic calculation to get the hang of the second key. The key labeled "2nd" selects the second function of the next key pressed. The second functions are located above the key. Enter 250 then the button marked "X," which is the multiplication key, then enter the digit 5, followed by the second key.

  • Press the key with the percentage symbol above it. Complete the calculation by pressing the "Equals" key. You will have performed a calculation to find 5% of 250 and the display will show 12.5.

  • Perform some basic arithmetic. Enter 60 and then the "Plus" key. Enter 5 and then the "Multiplication" key. Enter 12 and then the "Equals" key. The result will be 120. You will have multiplied 5 by 12, which is 60, and then you added 60, making 120.

  • Play with some of the other keys. The key marked "a b/c" is the fraction key. You can use it to toggle between fraction and decimal.

  • Use the instruction book to run through some more calculations. You can get pretty elaborate with this calculator. If you systematically go through all the examples in the instructions, like trigonometric and hyperbolic functions, statistics, probability, constants and polar to rectangular, you will not only have mastered the calculator, but will have mastered science.

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