Task of the Week: Giant Keyhole
Our Task of the Week was created by Vanessa Präg, student at Goethe University Frankfurt, as part of a mathematics didactic course. In a short interview, she will tell us about her experiences.
Task: Giant keyhole (Task number: 2550)
The city wants to close the keyholes. For this, the holes are filled with concrete up to the respective edges. How much does the concrete weigh in a keyhole when the density of the concrete is 2.1g/cm³? First estimate and then calculate the weight of the concrete in kg.
How did you come up with the idea to create this task for MathCityMap? How did you get to know MathCityMap?
My lecturer, Mr. Zender, made me aware of MathCityMap. As part of a course, we as prospective teachers talked about what modeling in mathematics education means. For clarification, he let us run a small trail from MathCityMap and solve it, as well as create 2 tasks in MCM. I’ve been an avid geocacher for years and think it’s a good idea to set tasks which can be solved with mathematics at different places. If I have more time, I will certainly create more tasks.
The task itself came to me as I walked through our city looking for unusual objects for MCM. The keyhole immediately jumped in my eye.
Which competencies and topics play a role in solving the task?
In this task, I see the competences “problem solving”, “modeling” and “working with mathematics symbols and techniques”. Communicating is also part of the task since on the one hand, the information from the task must be understood and implemented correctly, and on the other hand, the students should communicate with each other their solution proposals. Correct measurement of lengths, as well as the knowledge of the body and its volume play an important role. What surprised me was how heavy concrete is in a comparatively small volume. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting for the students, if they can assess the weight reasonably well.