# Schoolhouse Rock and Calculus

After presenting the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus to my calculus students, I make a point of doing the following example in class: $\displaystyle \int_0^4 \frac{1}{4} x^2 \, dx$

Hopefully my students are able to produce the correct answer: $\displaystyle \int_0^4 \frac{1}{4} x^2 \, dx = \displaystyle \left[ \frac{x^3}{12} \right]^4_0$ $= \displaystyle \frac{(4)^3}{12} - \frac{(0)^3}{12}$ $= \displaystyle \frac{64}{12}$ $= \displaystyle \frac{16}{3}$

Then I tell my students that they’ve probably known the solution of this one since they were kids… and I show them the classic video “Unpack Your Adjectives” from Schoolhouse Rock. They’ll watch this video with no small amount of confusion (“How is this possibly connected to calculus?”)… until I reach the 1:15 mark of the video below, when I’ll pause and discuss this children’s cartoon. This never fails to get an enthusiastic response from my students.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, be sure to watch the first 75 seconds of the video below. I think you’ll be amused.