Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Algebra II (Common Core) June 2016 Question 13

Print Friendly and PDF According to the Chicago Tribune (see here) the Ferris wheel on the Navy pier in Chicago was replaced with a new Ferris wheel that gives rides of 12 minutes and 3 revolutions. Opening on May 27, 2016, it is now named the Centennial Wheel.

I point this out due to question 13 on this year's New York State Regents Exam in Algebra II (Common Core) from June 1, 2016.:

This question shows an attempt to make mathematics "real world". The only two concerns I have are, firstly, why use information that is factually incorrect and, secondly, how "real world" would a Chicago Ferris wheel be to New York State students. At least use Coney Island or Great Escape!

Mathematically speaking, this question should be very simple. It is really just asking for the smallest value for H(t), and for an exam incorporating graphic calculators it is a snap.

Here is a GeoGebra model for one "car" on this wheel:

A more meaty question for Algebra II students would have been to identify the arc length between the position at time 0 and the bottom point on the trip.

Moral of the story: New York State, please stop hiding mathematics behind a veil of weakly designed "applications". 

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