Task of the Week: The Solar Pyramid
Our new Task of the Week is located in Spanish capital Madrid. There, Juan Martinez created the task “Puerta N.O. Parque Juan Carlos I (Pirámide Solar)” [engl.: Entrance to the park Juan Carlos I (Solar Pyramid)].
The task author Juan Martinez is a member of the Spanish maths education association FESPM, which is one of our project partners in out Erasmus+ projects MoMaTrE and MaSCE³. Both aim to the further development of the MathCityMap system in order to show students the “hidden” mathematics in their own environment.
The task formulation is as follows: Entering the Juan Carlos I Park, through this door we observe on the left a Solar Pyramid. What is the total area of the roof, using one square solar panel as a unit? The pyramid has four triangular sides of equal size. We count 25 whole solar panels on the base side and 15 vertically stacked panels. Taking the cut panels into account, we can calculate that the sides of the pyramid are composed of approximately 830 solar cells.
This task is to approximate the lateral area of a pyramid using a non-standard surface unit. Since the object is quite large, the students should use the triangular area formula to calculate the number of solar collectors und recognize this procedure as an effective counting method.