Education Technology

Making Hay While the Sun Shines & Not Losing It in the Rain (The Geometry of the Big Round Bale)

Published on 10/17/2008

Activity Overview

This activity explores the volume of the hay bale and the percent of loss as the radius of the bale decreases. The extension collects data from the constructed cylinder in a spreadsheet and graphs it. The graphs are modeled with quadratic functions and transformations of quadratic functions can also be addressed. The step-by-step instructions guide the student through the construction from the beginning.

Before the Activity

Students benefit greatly by doing the entire construction, but it is also time consuming and may not be appropriate for all students. A sample TNS file is posted here along with a PDF of the keystrokes to create the file. You may or may not want to have students create their own TNS file from the beginning.

During the Activity

HayBaleNspirecomplete.pdf gives students step-by-step directions to create the entire construction. There is a separate student response sheet provided.

After the Activity

A TNS file of the completed activity is provided for the teacher's use.