Trigonometry Unit Project
Many times in fields such as surveying, construction, engineering, aviation and many others, a length or distance must be calculated instead of being directly measured. To do this, people in these fields use concepts from trigonometry. They may use special computers to assist them, but it is all based on the ideas of trigonometry.
Your job as a group (of no more than 4 students) is to determine some specific distances using only a protractor, ruler, calculator (or trigonometric tables) and your knowledge of trigonometry.
Your first task is to calculate the distance to any two objects in the field east of the school. They may be power lines, houses, fences, cows, or whatever, just try to stay away from objects of which you can see more than 1000. (That is, rocks, dirt, stalks of grain, etc.)
Your second task is to determine the angle of elevation of the sun. (Just a hint: Please do not look directly toward the sun in doing this. Use the shadow of one of the people in your group.) Then, use this information to determine the height of an object that you are unable to measure directly. (For example, the school building, a light post, etc.)
- It would be best if every group had three or four people in it. It would also be best if each group has at least one person who has a strong understanding of trigonometry. (And yes, you do know who they are.)
- Remember, 25 points of this assignment are determined by your group's work. The other 25 points are the average of all the groups in the class. Therefore, be helpful to each other and don't get in each other's way.
- Make sure that groups members' names are all on your work.
- Divide up the tasks. If one or two people in your group are doing a majority of the work, volunteer to take measurements so that you have time to complete the project.
Here are sketches of some triangles that you may find helpful.
- Show your work and make sketches of your triangles. Be organized so when your work is being graded it is easy to determine exactly what you did. And make sure the requested distances and angle measurements can be found.