This set of web pages has been constructed to help students understand the use of proportional reasoning in science, particularly physics. The methodology was developed by David Ohlde, a former Woodrow Wilson team member. Several changes have been made which I believe are improvements. The original form for these pages was a HyperCard stack done in 1989. The current web format was initially done in 2000 and was upgraded in 2001.

Use this page to direct your study through the Proportions Website. When you click on one of the links, it opens a new window. All you need to do is close that window and this one will remain open so it doesn't need to be reloaded from the server.

The order below is a recommended one for studying this subject. You can hop from place to place, but the most utility can be gained by moving through it in a sequential manner.


A general introduction to variable, data tables and graphs as used throughout the web site.

Proportions Explained

An explanation of what proportions are and how they derive from basic mathematics.


    Factor Effect

    Characteristic Plot

    Straight Line Plot

    Constant Ratio

      Technique Self Check

The four basic analysis techniques are described and examples are given for each. We recommend you start with Factor Effect then work your way through the other three.


A summary of the material that has been presented previously.


A further method utilizing either a computer program or a graphing calculator to determine the form of the proportion.

Solving Problems using Proportions

A discussion of how to use proportions to solve problems. This is a very powerful technique and is used widely by scientists and engineers in the "real world".

Analyzing an Unknown

Data is given for an unknown relationship. Use your acquired knowledge to analyze it then see all four ways of analysis applied to the data.

Self Test

An overall self test to see if you understand the concepts introduced in this web site. Self graded.

Constructed by: Clarence Bakken, Gunn High School

Update: August 2001