14. August 2017

Task of the Week: Old Oak Tree

How can the age of a tree be approached using mathematics? This question addresses the current Task of the Week. It is placed in this form in Kappeln, but can be easily and quickly transferred to other places.


Task: Old Oak Tree (issue number: 1473)

How old is this oak tree? It is known that an oak with a diameter (in breast height) of 50 cm is about 110 years old.


In order to solve the problem, it is assumed that the growth of the oak is linear. This means that the average growth per year can be determined using the information in the text. Subsequently, the circumference in the height of the chest is measured and the diameter is determined by means of the relationship between the circumference and the diameter of a circle. This then leads to the age of the tree.

On the one hand, the problem can be classified in the geometric topic of the circle and, on the other hand, proportionality. If the relationship between the diameter and the circumference is already discussed at this time, the task can be used from class 6 onwards.

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