Teaching the Excel Solver to Algebra 2 Students

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Excel Solver is a useful tool for algebra two students, and teaching them how to use it begins with creating columns for equations, constants and solutions. Find out how to execute algebra equations in Microsoft Excel with help from a math teacher in this free video on math help and algebra.

Part of the Video Series: Algebra & Math Help
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Video Transcript

So how does one teach the Excel Solver to algebra 2 students? Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang, I've been teaching college mathematics for over 9 years and the Excel Solver is a very useful tool especially when it comes to algebra and here's a brief demonstration as to one of the many things that it can do. Now suppose we want to solve the system 3x - 3y is equal to 4 and 8x y is equal to 17. Now to be sure that the Excel program has the solver program, go to tools and make sure that it has Solver. If it doesn't have Solver right away, you can always access it from the add-ins menu. It's very easy to get to, believe me. Now what we've done here is we've created columns, one for equations, one for constants and one for solution. Notice the x is under E2 and the y is under E3 and the 4 and 17 are on the other side of the equation, they're under the constants column. Now what we're going to do here is we're going to enter what the equation actually was. We're going to have equal to and then 3 times E2, which is where the x is, minus 2 times E3, which is where the y is. and then go on. Don't worry about the value. Now for 3, we have 8 times, got to press the equal, equal to 8 times E2 plus E3 and then go on, don't worry about the value. Now go to tools and go to Solver. Now make sure the set target cell is completely blank and then under by changing cells, you need to enter that in exact order. Dollar sign E, dollar sign 2, colon, dollar sign E, dollar sign 3. Now we're going to highlight this and you would when you first entering this click on add, but we're going to change it just to show you what you need to enter. Under cell reference, you need to enter dollar sign A, dollar sign 2, colon, dollar sign A, dollar sign 3, make sure the middle is set to equal to and then constraint write it exactly as it is. Enter equal, dollar sign C, dollar sign 2, colon, dollar sign C, dollar sign 3 and click OK. Now you're ready for it to solve. Note the solution, they say x is 2, y is 1 and then of course you want to keep the Solver solution to use for future reference. So I'm Jimmy Chang and that's how you teach the Excel Solver to algebra 2 students.


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