Task of the Week: Monument Erlangen/Brüx
This time, the “Task of the Week” is part of the trail “Rund um den Erlangener Schlosspark”. It is called “Monument Erlangen /Brüx” with task number 704. Thematically, the task can be integrated into the topic parables and is therefore suitable from grade 9.
Task: Monument Erlangen/Brüx
Examine whether the “curve” in the lower quarter of the stone monument is a parable y= -ax². If not, enter a=0 as solution, otherwise enter the calculated value of a.
The task was written by Jürgen Hampp. In the following interview, he gives an insight into the idea behind the task and the aim of the task. At this point, we would like to take the opportunity to thank Mr. Hampp for his answers.
What made you consider including this task into the trail?
My concern was to develop a trail which is on the one hand easy to access in walking distance from our school, the Christian-Ernst-Gymnasium in Erlangen, and on the other hand leads through mostly car-free areas. Of course, the possible objects are limited. Under this perspective, the monument Erlangen/Brüx has an optimal position, the measuring is riskless – one does not have to climb etc. – and only simple resources are needed.
Where do you see the characteristic of the task? Which skills and ideas are especially supported?
I want to train the “mathematical view”, e.g. the recognition of mathematical objects in everyday life, and the activity with these objects with help of the methods which are known from class. This object mainly supports the competence branch K3 “Mathematical modelling”. Here, quadratic functions (topic in grade 9) present themselves. I did not want to use the common tasks with water fountains as they might be out of use, the water pressure may vary and the measuring is difficult. For me, the special attraction of this task is that a plain solution – as for usual schoolbook exercises – does not exist. Inaccurate measuring at the object or discrepancies at the object require skillful forming of averages and approximated values.