"Search and Rescue, Part I" Teacher Support
Search and Rescue, Part I Archived PoW || Student Version
Search and Rescue, Part I is no longer the current ESCOT Problem of the Week. The student version allows teachers to use the problem with their students without giving the students access to the archived answers. Teachers can use the link to the archived problem to get ideas of student thinking.
Search and Rescue, Part I asks students to explore concepts of degrees and angles based on a helicopter flight school theme. Students are asked to figure out appropriate headings and distances to reach specific destinations. Students are encouraged to choose the best routes and positions for their travel.
This ESCOT PoW could be used as an introductory exploration of angles and degrees.
If you have something to share with us as you use any of the links or suggestions on this page (something you tried and changed or a new idea), we would love to hear from you. Please email us.
Alignment to the NCTM Standards - Grades 6-8
- use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems
- apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements
- solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts
- communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
- use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely
- recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics
- Get students acquainted with concepts of angles. Ask them what kinds of angles they encounter in their everyday lives (90-degree angles in doors and windows; 45-degree angles in rooftops; 20-degree angles on ramps, etc.). Then, referring to navigation, have students describe how to determine, given one angle, the angle that is in the opposite direction (180 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise). For instance, for angles less than 180, the angle in the opposite direction is 180 degrees more; for angles more than 180 degrees, the angle in the opposite direction is 180 less. Discuss what might be signified by angles greater than 360 degrees.
- Ask students to pair up. Have one person walk a certain path and call out headings, and have the other person respond with the path "in the opposite direction." This could be extended to looking for other symmetric paths, like ones that are a 90-degree rotation.
- The Traveling Monkey - Ivars Peterson's MathLand
To use the idea covered in The Traveling Monkey, give students a map with two ice cream stands on it. Ask the students,
- which way is best, according to minimum distance?
Then ask the students to try 3, 4, and 5 ice cream stands. They will see that the number of possible combinations quickly increases. Students could design their own maps with the goal of making it difficult for a classmate to find the shortest way.
Suggested Activities from Susan Socha:
Related Lessons Online:
- Left Angles
- Straight Angle vs. Line
- Why Is a Circle 360 Degrees?
- flight plan