Measuring learning outside the classroom

Students in Pre-AP Geometry finished up their trigonometry unit on Tuesday by applying what they’ve learned on paper to real-world situations outside of the classroom. 

“I wanted the activity to provide a change of pace for them and to let them see that they can find the height of things that are too tall to measure,” teacher Jennifer Harrison said. “Leaving the classroom gave them more objects to pick from.”

Students wandered through the school’s main hallway, using things such as the railway on the the second floor balcony to do their work.

“[The assignment] was covering trig ratios,” freshman Sanjheev Rao said. “We had two instruments that we used to find the height of different structures around the school. After finding the angle of elevation, we could use tan to find the height of what we were measuring.”

Rather than learning from a textbook or a lecture, freshman McKenna Clerkin saw the activity as an opportunity to think creatively.

“I think activities in the classroom help you to learn the basics, but then when you’re doing things outside of class you actually get to apply it better,” Clerkin said. “Test questions can sometimes also ask for application of outside knowledge so I think that it helps with that as well.”