Hands-on Trig

How tall is the flagpole? The second-floor railing? Read about the handmade contraption our geometry students engineered to find answers.
Measuring angles became a field trip opportunity for students in Jessica Duthie's geometry classes: a chance to apply newly-mastered skills outdoors on the Scheck Hillel campus. "We have been learning about right triangle trigonometry for the last couple weeks," Duthie said. "I wanted students to use a transit to find the height of objects on campus."

A transit is a tool used by surveyors to measure horizontal angles; students worked with handmade versions to make their own calculations. After finding the angle of measurement and distance from an object, students applied trigonometry to find the object's height. This hands-on experience connected classroom learning to real world applications, creating interest and reinforcing learning.