Angry Birds Optimization and Projectile Motion Group Project

Holland Math
PDF (1 MB|13 pages)
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Holland Math


This is a group project designed for 4 students. In this project, students work independently to determine certain information about their own angry bird and his plan. Topics covered include: Optimization, Dimensional Analysis, Quadratics, Projectile Motion, and more. Then the group comes together to compare results and determine the best plan of action for successfully stopping the pigs. Below is a brief outline of the scenario, what is asked for one student, and what is asked from the group. Each individual student's problem varies with the pig pen design. All are given dimensions in yards and must convert to feet to be able to successfully answer the questions.
**You could omit the poster portion as needed to save time. Feel free to email me at for a Word document that you can edit as needed.
Scenario: The angry birds: Red, Chuck, Hal, and Bomb, are tired of the pigs: King Pig and Foreman, stealing their eggs. Being very independent birds, they each decide to take matters into their own wings and take out the pigs. Each bird devises a plan of attack. They choose their flight plan launching from the slingshot that they feel will allow them to hit one of the pigs and knock the ham right out them. They have also secured their own individual amount of fencing material to build a pig pen to safely secure them in. Each bird has their own set of blueprints for the pig pen design their feel will be the most secure.
Work independently to find your birds flight plan details and pig pen measurements. All measurements are in feet unless otherwise noted. Then as a group create a poster that shows each birds flight from the slingshot towards the pigs. Also include diagrams of each pig pen design complete with measurements.

Student work for a bird:
1) Factor Red’s flight plan.
2) What point did he launch from?
3) Where does he land?
4) What is the maximum height he achieves?
5) The blueprints for Red’s pig pen is a rectangular pen. He has ___ yards of fencing. What dimensions would Red need to maximize the area for the pigs?
6) What is the area of Red’s pig pen?

Group work:
1) Which bird(s) hit a pig? Specify which pig they hit.
2) Which bird obtained the highest height during his flight and how high was it?
3) Which bird flew the lowest and how close to the ground was it?
4) The birds might be angry about the pigs stealing their eggs but they are civilized. Determine the price to build each pig pen. Which pig pen has the smallest cost per square foot?

Teacher notes: I print the packet so the first two pages are on white paper (one-sided to allow cutouts of the birds) Red bird is printed on red paper. Chuck is on yellow, Hal on green, and Bomb on blue. I also do not staple the packet in order to allow students to work independently on their own birds and then use their work to help answer the group problems. The work takes approx. 90 minutes. The poster took an additional 20 minutes with Honors level Precalculus students. Again, removing the poster portion would save time without removing any of the math concepts.

Total Pages
13 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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