Math at Pond

PONDering the Law of Sines and Cosines

Spring is in the air, and classes are enjoying the beautiful weather that lends itself to opportunities for taking lessons outside. In the Integrated Math 2 Accelerated classes taught by Upper School Math and Computer Science Teacher Janet Purdy and Upper School Math Teacher Stephen Porter, students took to Polk Pond for a recent assignment.

Using the law of sines and cosines, students were tasked with measuring the distance across the pond. To do this, they drew a diagram to model a non-right triangle with two points to measure the distance across the pond and a third point. Using compasses on their cellphones, they calculated the angle and recorded all of the helpful measurements needed for their equations.

This was the first time that many of these students had used a compass. Now, they’ve become experts in using compasses and in the real-world application of the law of sines and cosines!