Reflection: Grappling with Complexity NPR Car Talk Problem - Day 1 of 2 - Section 3: Explore


One very important key to this problem is realizing that since the region of the circle that the gas occupies is so irregular, we must divide the circle into shapes that we do know the area for (mainly a sector and a triangle).

This student instinctively used triangles to try to make sense of the problem. Although his method is not perfect, he did have a lot of good ideas. He knew that we needed to find an angle measure of the triangle, and even set up a tangent equation involving theta. So many great ideas in this student's work!

  Grappling with Complexity: A Shape We Don't Know
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NPR Car Talk Problem - Day 1 of 2

Unit 4: Trigonometric Functions
Lesson 12 of 14

Objective: SWBAT use trigonometric topics to solve a problem in context.

Big Idea: This problem from NPR's Car Talk is engaging, challenging, and mathematically rich!

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