# An Easy Transformation: Right Triangle Trigonometry

From Haese and Harris MYP 9:

I was looking for problems to give my students as applications of the right angle trigonometry from our previous class. The problem is essentially equivalent to the basic questions requiring them to find an unknown side or angle – the work is all done for them. One of my standards is all about parsing a word problem for the information needed to answer it, and this question does not require students to do any parsing.

I removed all of the measurements, and this problem became remarkably more demanding:

This will certainly prompt more conversation than in its original form.

It’s embarrassing how easy it was to make this change – I anticipate a nice payoff in class.

Why don’t you remove all the information and just ask “How long is the building?”. You could provide some information like: angle, distance to the building, distance to the top, vertical angle, etc. and that the students choose the information that we think to need and put into the draw. All the information you offer them is equivalent. For example, if angle is 72º, then vertical angle is 18º. But they have the freedom to choose what information they need although they solve the same problem

Check the ‘changed’ version. Right now it reads the same as the original. I am curious to see if you will make the changes I expect.

The difference is quote subtle – look again.

I see it.