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Posted by Pat Carrow (pcarrow@kiwi.dep.anl.gov).

Community High School 94, West Chicago, IL

Materials Required: compasses (directional),protractors, graph paper, rulers, football field or playing board

Activity Time: 3 class periods

Concepts Taught: vectors, graphing

Day 1: Pacing

Mark off a long section (100 ft or so) and have the students measure their pace by counting steps over 1000 feet and then dividing by 1000.

Day 2: Use of compass

1. Instruct students on the use of a directional compass, sighting a landmark and pacing for distance

2. Direct students on how to read compass directions written on paper

3. Divide students into groups of 3 students, give each a compass, or use one compass and a 4th person

to act as "runner" to bring the compass back to the next student

4. Give the groups a set of vectors to "add", go to a football field to

give them plenty of room to do this - you will need to make up your vectors

before hand

5. Space your students far enough apart that they do not run into each other

6. The first student in a group reads the directions given, and moves to the

first vector location (200 ft at 200 degrees for eg)

7. The second student stands next to the first student (who is at their vector

location) and reads the next direction and follows the directions for the

second vector

8. The third student goes to where the second student is located and sights

the first student using the compass, makes a note

of the direction and then measures the distance

using pacing as the distance guide, and they all

record the distance and the direction the last

student had to travel.

Alternate plan if there is no football field or the weather rains

using the lab table or the floor, use markers and have the

students move markers the different locations on the floor

or very big lab tableDay 2 Graphing

1. Have students graph the vectors from the previous day, making

note of the direction and length of the final vector drawn

to scale

Day 3 Vector addition

If graphing calculators are available, show students how to translate

between rectangular and polar coordinates, and add vectors, compare

answers to the other two days work

If graphing calculators are not available, teach them some trig functions

and how to translate to polar coordinates and add the (x,y) coordinates

and compare the work from the previous two days.

Optional homework - map out the vectors that would describe

the circumnavigation of their home, graph it, add it