Ruth and the Taco Cart

I love Dan Meyer's Taco Cart if you have never heard of it, here is the task it is great it is wonderful.

http://threeacts.mrmeyer.com/tacocart/

We were recently doing this activity in Algebra 2, because I love how it uses the Pythagorean Theorem and one of my students asks, "what if you split the angle in half and walked that, because that is what I would do." I thought that would be a wonderful geometry question.

Ruth and the Taco Cart

I posed this question to my geometry students, we weren't really learning about angle bisectors, but we had already learned it as well as trigonometry. It took them about 15 minutes to use pythagorean theorem and find the time it would take. However, Ruth was much more difficult.

After students completed the time section I asked what they needed to find the angle and the distance Ruth would have to go.

There were lots of good questions. I gave the rest of it as homework and only a few were able to do it completely.


For students that did the work, I had them work in a group and work on a couple of extension problems:

  • If Ruth didn't want to talk alone, how long would she have to wait for the other to catch up?
  • What if she took a different angle?
  • Does changing the angle effect the time it takes for her to get to her destination?
The other students continued to work on the problem and were given some of these extension problems as they got the answer.

I loved the use of geometry, I will definitely use this when we are learning trigonometry.


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