I liked this problem, because it made me take a step back. At first, I thought that the expressions should be the same for each of the hypotenuses. Then I recalled they have to be equal, not necessarily the same. And then it was a breeze to discover that x=3 units.

Since there was no units given, they can be inches, feet, miles, yards or whatever. I would dare say that making a glider using a 60 sq inches of fabric would be problematic for a person of my considerable wieght!

Perhaps providing the basic unit would be one tiny improvement.

Also, should you approach the problem from the position of how much the project is worth, and an idea of how you plan to evaluate the solution?

Mathematical sophistication is when the teacher becomes comfortable in the art of teaching mathematics. This is perfectly good example of having flow in allowing the student to create, test and make conjectures about something on YouTube. Mathematics is not about a textbook. It is about real life application and enjoyment. In this lesson the student makes and test conjectures about mathematical objects and structures. It is also about bringing math alive by creating models, using logical arguments.

Peter,

I liked this problem, because it made me take a step back. At first, I thought that the expressions should be the same for each of the hypotenuses. Then I recalled they have to be equal, not necessarily the same. And then it was a breeze to discover that x=3 units.

Since there was no units given, they can be inches, feet, miles, yards or whatever. I would dare say that making a glider using a 60 sq inches of fabric would be problematic for a person of my considerable wieght!

Perhaps providing the basic unit would be one tiny improvement.

Also, should you approach the problem from the position of how much the project is worth, and an idea of how you plan to evaluate the solution?

It was a fun problem!

by prmarcadia August 7, 2010 at 9:46 pmPeter,

Mathematical sophistication is when the teacher becomes comfortable in the art of teaching mathematics. This is perfectly good example of having flow in allowing the student to create, test and make conjectures about something on YouTube. Mathematics is not about a textbook. It is about real life application and enjoyment. In this lesson the student makes and test conjectures about mathematical objects and structures. It is also about bringing math alive by creating models, using logical arguments.

by gk1as August 26, 2010 at 1:39 am