Home » Blog » 5 Practical Ways to Use Graphing Calculators in Non-Math Classes

5 Practical Ways to Use Graphing Calculators in Non-Math Classes

Undeniably, tablets and computers have significantly eased math tasks and research for students across the globe. Also popularly referred to as ‘scientific calculators,’ standard model graphing calculators are generally designed to help in graph plotting, handling simultaneous equations, among many other functions.  Nonetheless, despite this being what they are primarily used for both in math classes as well as some other math-aligned professions such as engineering, there is much more to them! So precisely what else can they do (outside the math class, of course)?

For any graphing calc user, here are some unexpected yet perfectly practical ways of how you can use your calc outside your math classes…

1. Writing in Full Sentence

Can you recall those days when you used numbers on your calc to spell out upside-down, misshapen ‘hello’?  To your surprise, the advancement in calculator technology now allows you to do more than just type a simple hello as graphing calculators can effectively type out full sentences both in upper and lower case. In particular, the TI-84 and TI-83 calculator owners can subsequently enable ‘sentences function’ using various tutorials on YouTube. Try it out!

2. Drawing

Surprisingly, besides helping you refine your arithmetic prowess, a graphing calculator can help you unleash the artist within you! Yes, if you are an ambitious soul, you can get to learn and effectively draw a few interesting items including the Batman Logo, Mario, as well as the Mona Lisa! Nonetheless, if you are a beginner, you can start by trying to learn about how to draw a simple heart and luckily for you, there are numerous tutorials to help you out.

3. Data Collection

Are you curious about your heart health more so your heart rate to be precise? Or are you wondering what the day’s temperature is? If you answered YES to both questions, then you will be amazed after learning that you can do all this using your calculator. All you need to do is simply turn to the calculator’s software. Some popular models such as the TI-84 and the TI-83 are known to be compatible with sensors and applications like Vernier EasyLink that measures human heart rate.

4. Uploading Photos and Transferring Documents

If you the TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator model, then you own a device that can do much more than just help you solve your equations. With this model, it is possible to upload your photos. Not only is the calculator practical relative to visualizing problems, but it is also remarkably fun especially if you want to do more than just sit staring at a plain calc screen. To do this, you can check out several YouTube tutorials and get going. Similarly, this unique feature can come in handy at a professional level, such as in the Computer Programming sector. How so, though?

With their picture uploading capacity, graphing calculators can come in handy for computer programmers looking to upload screenshots of data sets and spreadsheets. What’s more, some graphing calculators can allow the computer-to-calculator linking facilitating the transfer of documents such as data sets and spreadsheets to allow easier programming. How about that! 

5. Play Games

Finally, did you know that graphical calculators can be a great way to have fun? The last and perhaps the most exciting way you can use a graphing calculator is to play games.  Some particular graphing calculator models can allow you to download several different games, more so the TI-84 Plus or a TI-83 Plus. As such, next time you are bored with class work and are looking for a let off, pick up your calculator and play a few rounds of Pac-Man, Tetris, and Super Mario, among many others.

What’s more, you can get all these games by downloading them from TI Wizard at absolutely no cost! Imagine that… Likewise, if you have the technical know-how, you can also hack your calculator and enjoy playing more games like Pokemon Red and Skyrim.


Graphing calculators, commonly used to solve advanced math equations and problems, can do way more. If you want to learn even more ways to use your graphing calculator, take a look at this guide that shows you even more tricks and hacks.

Long gone are those days when the only fun and creative activity you could do with your graphing calculator besides working out math problems was to type a simple ‘HELLO’ or the famous giggle-inducing term ‘BOOBS.’

These days, the available calculator functions are more refined and with a few smart designs and apps not to mention a little creativity, you can do so much including uploading photos, downloading games, as well as collect data among many other functions.

Don’t just sit there staring at your calculator’s blank screen, try out these few additional functions as aforementioned, and get ready to have some fun.