Before Spring Break, our 8th grade Accelerated Math students concluded their study of systems of equations with a “rescue the prince” journey story. The students were presented with the story and tasked with solving problems to determine locations in the journey and creating a map to supplement the tale.
The fantasy story, written by Karen Wyatt and adapted by Middle School Math Teachers Chaley Poth and Krystal White, goes a little something like this:
There once was a handsome young prince in the land of Graphdom who was destined to marry a spirited and intelligent princess from a neighboring quadrant. As the time for the marriage approached, a dreadful thing happened. The Prince was captured by a terrible dragon and was imprisoned deep within a fiery lake!
The King called for his wisest wizard and sent him along with a map to the castle of the spirited Princess. The Princess was heartbroken when she heard the news and knew she could not rest until she had rescued the Prince. The Princess and the Wizard studied the map and devised a route for the Princess to travel. Though the way would be fraught with danger, she must venture out on the journey to rescue the Prince.
Students had to solve multiple systems and graph many lines to achieve the goal of rescuing the Prince. The assignment included recreating the map the Princess carried, labeling each point of interest on the map, and sketching the paths traveled by all the characters in the story. The King’s castle, the Princess’s castle, and the Dragon’s Fiery Lake were located within the boundaries of the polygons formed by plotting the solutions to a number of systems of equations and connecting those points. The boundary of the Black Forest was found by graphing inequality problems, the location of the Evil Swamp was found by graphing a union of a pair of inequalities, and the Mystic Mountain was found at an intersection of two other equations.
Students remained steadfast throughout the journey to rescue the Prince and create original graphics to pair with the story.
“One thing I enjoyed about the Princess Problem Project was creating the map. It was fun to draw the castles and the items the princess got throughout her journey. I think what was challenging was the math part. You had to find the exact coordinates for each place, and you also had to graph different lines precisely as well. So in the end, it was fun and challenging, and I think that made it such a good project.” – Aniket Joshi ’25
“I really enjoyed that we got full creative ability and how everyone’s projects ended up being a whole new thing to look at. I had a lot of fun collaborating with others throughout the project in an attempt to make everyone better as a group. I learned a lot about perseverance and problem solving from this project as my OneNote kept glitching. All in all, I really enjoyed this project and the results.” – Nina Schuerer ’25
“I enjoyed having the visual aspect of a project.” – Norah Wright ‘25
Thank you, Ms. Poth and Ms. White, for creating an engaging and interactive way to apply math knowledge!