Upper School Students Use Sun For Math Calculations
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Upper School Students Use Sun For Math Calculations

Taking advantage of a beautiful October day on the Lausanne campus, students in Janet Slesinski's HL Math 10 class used the sun to measure the distance between themselves and the giant star at the center of our universe. 

"Students measured the distance from Earth to the Sun using similarity and the known diameter of the sun," Slesinski said. "Students then focused on precision and considered the effects of imprecision when working on such a large scale."

Since looking at the sun wasn't an option, students created pin-hole filters. Students were then able to measure the diameter of the sun's image on the ground.

They then used math and similar triangles to determine the distance to the sun. 

"It’s important to connect the mathematics we’re learning to real-world applications. This gets students thinking critically about how measurement and scale affect their calculations. Sometimes real-world problems are messy. Going outside the classroom exposes students to those more realistic situations and prepares them to interpret their results in context.," Slesinski said. 

Click here to see all the photos from the day on Facebook.