Classroom resources spotlight: Trigonometric Trajectories

Published 08 November 2018

Trigonometric Trajectories is a new sequence for Year 10 Trigonometry, which finds unusual but true real world applications for high school trigonometry!

In Lesson 1 students look at claims made by some of the world's longest and steepest adventure zipline companies, and test the mathematics underlying these claims. Can the world really have four "steepest" ziplines? After investigating these ziplines, students use their findings to design and model their own zipline, appropriately scaled down for a doll to ride on. Will their zipline give the rider a safe yet thrilling ride, or a deadly fall?

In Lesson 2 we explore one of the most unexpected appearances of real-world trigonometry out there - "glider poles" constructed along the sides of highways to help gliding mammals cross the road. Students learn the requirements of the gliders in their area and design glider poles for their local highways, following the same development processes as Australian ecologists.

You can download the Trigonometric Trajectories sequence here.