Designing Wheel Chair Ramps
A lot goes into building a wheel chair ramp, and that is what the Class of 2016 realized when they attempted to build their own models. The juniors are doing a unit on trigonometry, which is a branch of mathematics that studies relationships involving lengths and angles of triangles. The students were given a slope and asked to build a wheel chair ramp from the given slope using Popsicle sticks. First, they were required to plan how they would build their ramp and provide mathematical proof as to how many Popsicle sticks they would need. The duration of the project lasted 4 days. When students tried to put their plan in effect they realized that the ramp needed more support. The ramp in their planned seemed practical when drawn out but when they tried to get the Popsicle sticks to stand upright it did not work. The students had to change their original plan and add more support to the ramp to get it to stand up straight. The students persevered through their mistakes and realized that what may work in theory does not always work out in practice. In the image are two ramps made by Jorge Cruz and Audon Bernal.