Geometry students in Mrs. Julie Petersen’s class studied trigonometry ratios this week. Always seeking an answer to the question, “When will we use this in life?”, students completed a lab to find the height of various parts of the high school such as the classroom, hallway, commons area, and flag pole.
Setting up equations according to the well-known acronym SohCahToa can be done with a traditional worksheet or a more interactive lab. Petersen’s classes used a tape measure and clinometer to estimate the height of the newly constructed entry to be either 18 or 21 feet. The hunt has begun to find a blueprint for the exact answer.
Mrs. Petersen’s enthusiasm was contagious as the excitement on a chilly Friday warmed students to the idea that math can be appreciated in every day life. Influencing long-term memory, a lab makes lessons more meaningful yet takes more time than a traditional worksheet. In the future when these students walk in to the school, they may observe the entry and remember how SohCahToa helped them find the height of the new archway.