Mates y TIC - Maths and ICT

Actividades de Matemáticas con TIC - Math Activities with ICT - - - ( Ricardo García Mesa

Trigonometry and measuring heights

Posted by ricardogm on November 23rd, 2015


Part 1: Geogebra

Today we are going to enter the awesome world of trigonometry. Pay attention to the teacher, you are going to create a very interesting Geogebra applet.

A finished version can be found here:

Part 2: clinometer


The picture above shows you the materials you’ll need to create a very simple clinometer (that is, a device to measure degrees of inclination, or slope). There are other designs, maybe better, but that’s mine, and it’s pretty cheap. In fact, other than the wooden lath, the rest of the materials should be in your school bag, or at home. This particular example is a bit ugly, I hope yours to be much nicer.


1. You’ll need to make a little hole in the right place of the protractor (the center of the circle, it’s usually marked clearly). You can use sophisticated machines, but a hot needle is probably the easier way. Just be careful. Don’t use a nuclear weapon, please.

2. Draw a line in the wooden lath, parallel to the side. The lath, of course, should be perfectly straight. Mine is a bit swill

3. Fix the nut (or another weight) to exactly 90º. You can use a reversible solution to not ruin your protractor (adhesive tape, for instance)

4. Nail down the protractor to the lath, in the middle of it and on the line you just draw.

5. Put your name on the device. I suggest using the wooden part, it’s easier.

6. At this point, it’s time to free your artistic part of the brain. Decorate the thing with something fun, or significant for you. Paint it, for example, write a song, draw a scary tatoo… It’s up to you.

Deadline: friday 4rd. No excuses allowed. Examples of popular excuses: my dog ate it, my brother ate it, I ate my dog, etc.

NOTE: one clinometer per each one of you.

Next thursday or friday we are going to measure the height of different things with this humble device and your amazing trigonometry knowledge: trees, a hill, this school… so:

For today:

1. Search in the web how to measure heights of things using trigonometry and a clinometer. Write it in a blank sheet of paper, at least, these two cases: a tree or something similar, and a mountain. Give it to the teacher at the end of the class (one pupil, one sheet).

2. Solve these problems in your notebook.

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