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Ray and Kelsey have summer internships at an engineering firm. As part of their internship, they get to assist in the planning of a brand new roller coaster. For this assignment, you help Ray and Kelsey as they tackle the math behind some simple curves in the coaster’s track.
The first part of Ray and Kelsey’s roller coaster is a curved pattern that can be represented by a polynomial function.
1) Ray and Kelsey are working to graph a third-degree polynomial function that represents the first pattern in the coaster plan. Ray says the third-degree polynomial has 4 intercepts. Kelsey argues the function can have as many as 3 zeros only. Is there a way for the both of them to be correct? Explain your answer.
(Hint: Are there only x-axis intercepts? How many times can a function cross the y-axis?)