Task of the Week: Parabolic Slide
Although the focus of many MCM tasks is on lower secondary maths, some upper secondary level tasks can also be realised. So our current Task of the Week, which was created in the context of a teacher training at the commercial schools Hanau.
Task: Parabolic Slide (task number: 2241)
The shape of the slide is the part of a parabola. Determine the compression factor. 1m equals 1 unit of length. You can assume that the slide is almost horizontal at the end.
The slide is approximated according to the task with the help of the equation f (x) = ax² of a parabola. To solve the task, the students first have to transfer the situation to a suitable coordinate system. Since only the compression factor is asked, it is not necessary to specify this in the task. It makes sense to set the coordinate system so that the origin lies at the lower end of the parabola, but leaves out the horizontal end. Through such a choice, it is sufficient to determine another point on the slide, so the change in the x- and y-coordinate. By inserting this into the equation, the compression factor a results.