Our Year 9 students have had an exciting first week of school with the arrival of their new CAS TI-Nspire calculators. They have been busy learning all the basic commands for solving equations and drawing graphs.
The first topic of Year 9 Mainstream Mathematics is Pythagoras’ Theorem. We began with a video showing liquid draining from two sides of a right-angled triangle into the longest side, the hypotenuse. From this video, the students of 9BME were able to deduce Pythagoras’ Theorem on their own. They tested their theory with a measuring tape by walking around the room and recording the length and width of different items such as windows, tables, workbooks and posters. Students were able to use the CAS calculator to figure out the diagonal length of each item through application of the theorem without having to measure it.
Pythagoras’ Theorem and Trigonometry have so many real world applications, from construction and architecture, to navigation, land surveying and even facial recognition software. Mathematics is always understood best when it can be demonstrated and applied to our lives outside of a textbook. The students of 9BME were able to take on this challenge and achieve an understanding with not much more than a measuring tape.