A Math Forum Project

 ESCOT Problem of the Week: Archive of Problems, Submissions, & Commentary

Student Version

Search and Rescue - posted May 16, 2000

Based on a helicopter flight school theme, this four-page activity addresses the mathematical concepts of degrees and angles. Students are asked to find appropriate headings and distances in order to reach specific destinations.

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It is difficult to comment on how students dealt with the problem, because we had very few submissions. For the most part, it seemed that students could answer question one, but had difficulty on question two understanding how to find the complementary angle using the compass, and with question three in explaining how they got their answers.

Students enjoyed interacting with the first three pages of the problem. As they interacted with those pages they got an idea of how a compass works and how that relates to flying. Students did not have much trouble answering the first question, but when they got to the second question they still seemed to be thinking in terms of the simulation, not realizing that it was a simple question involving thinking about going around the circle in one direction (a certain number of degrees) and going in the opposite direction (three hundred sixty minus that number of degrees). Once I reminded the students that the question didn't necessarily have anything to do with flying the helicopter and that they should just think of a circle, they had an easier time thinking about the problem.

Students who had time to think about the bonus question were on the right track, but they weren't able to express themselves well enough to receive credit.

A great corresponding lesson would be to work on LogoWriter with the turtle turning right or left and the corresponding equivalencies to get the second idea across.

3 students received credit this week.

David D., age 13 - Issaquah Middle School, Issaquah, WA
Greg H., age 12 - Issaquah Middle School, Issaquah, WA
Jordan H., age 13 - Issaquah Middle School, Issaquah, WA