Arabic Surveying Project

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SWBAT to apply knowledge of similar triangles to a real-world survey project..

Big Idea

Students will delve into the past, and use similar triangles just like ancient Arabs did to find the height and distance of real-world objects.

Do Now

10 minutes

Project Set-Up and Practice

30 minutes

This Project will ask students to utilize properties of similar triangles to find measurements of tall objects (MP 1).   Students will first set-up the project so that there are two similar triangles formed.  Students should first pick a tall object to find the height (i.e. project, top of board, top of room, etc) (MP 4).

In order to complete this project, you will need the following supplies:

Meter Stick/Tape Measures

You may want to put students in groups of 3-4, and assign specific roles.  For example, one student could be in charge of each material; this means, that one student woudl be in charge of the mirror, another the measurer, another the laser pointer and another the writer.  Each student should take a turn though in viewing how we use the mirror to reflect the laser - it's really cool!   Please also note that there are follow-up questions and a reflection in the project document. S

This project can be extended with the following at-home activity:

Create your own experiment at home or after school.  Pick an object that
would be unsafe to measure on your own (i.e. top of a building, clock tower at school, tree in your yard etc.). 

Project Work

45 minutes