Education Technology

Math TODAY: Wing Tabs Save Fuel

Activity Overview

Using the USA TODAY® Infograph, 'Wing Tabs Save Fuel,' ratios and proportions will be used to explore the concept of similarity between a drawing/model and the actual dimensions. The effects of dilation (size change) on an image and pre-image will also be explored. In addition, students will look at what happens to the corresponding sides and areas of a quadrilateral as the dilation factor increases and decreases.

Before the Activity

Provide one graphing calculator for each student. Each student should have a copy of the corresponding student activity sheet. Provide each student with the AppVars Dilation. Have students bring small metric rulers or provide rulers for the class.

During the Activity

  • The class will need Cabri Jr. 2.0 installed on their calculators.
  • Discuss how to access Cabri Jr. and how to find and open the AppVars Dilation before starting the activity. Remind students about how to grab and move objects when using Cabri Jr.
  • Have students work in pairs to discuss their observations about the effects of dilation.
  • Activity 1 can be completed working in small groups so that students can check their measurements from the infograph with group members.
  • Students can explore before the activity is started to gain a better understanding of the design of the airplane with and without winglets.
  • After the Activity

  • Review student answers
  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary