This is one of my student’s favorite activities. Who doesn’t want to go outside and map out some vectors? It works well in physics or trigonometry for understanding how to add and subtract multiple vectors.
10 different maps are provided for student groups to make their way from a single point of origin to a designated, X-marks-the-spot, using compass headings of N, S, E, and W and specified distances. The groups all have a different path but end up at the same place. At the end, students draw a resultant, calculate the displacement, and use inverse tangent to find the angle to make a direct line to that point. It’s a great hands-on experience and you’ll get technology points for using a free compass app on student cell phones.
There are two labs or activities in this product and it takes about 90-120 minutes to complete everything. In the first activity, students determine the length of their stride in meters to use outside instead of carrying meter sticks. They then convert the map distances into steps before going outside.
This activity works on a soccer field, football field, or a large empty parking lot.
• 2 lab activities
• Dimensional analysis practice
• 10 different student maps
• Student handouts with gridded maps
• Suggestions for your compass app
• Clear teacher instructions
• Non-food based prizes
Keywords: dimensional analysis, trigonometry, physics, graphing, Pythagorean theorem, measuring, precision, accuracy, vectors, resultant, components, analysis, angle, projectile, linear, slope, distance, displacement, vector, scalar, degrees, activity, experiment, out of doors, outdoors, cooperative learning, group, precalculus, pre-calculus, calculus