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Fringe Geometry

I spent this summer catching up on Fringe and it is now my favorite TV show.  I was watching this episode the other night and was so excited :with the math involved.  I always have a difficult time teaching students the relevance of constructions.  Well, here it is.  I decided (in classic Dan Meyer style) to try to make a lesson out of it.  I am not teaching Geometry this semester, but next semester, here are my plans:

1.  Show clip and stop at 2:05.  Hand out maps of Boston.  Assign each student two major land marks on map and have them complete what Peter is doing with his map of Boston.  (The addresses used in the Fringe episode are not accurate.) 

2.  The students must first take the two points assigned to them (for example, Boston Univ. and the Convention Center) and label two possibilities for equilateral triangles.

3.  The students must find the center of the triangles.  If the students seem stuck, I will show them how Peter discovers his centers.  We can then discuss that Peter actually uses the incenter and not the circumcenter.  Does it really matter in this case?  Why or why not? 

I can’t wait for next semester.  (I apologize for the watermark on the video.  I’m using a free trial right now to cut out clips from DVD’s.)

Categories: Geometry
  1. Renee Scott
    November 3, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    This seems very interesting but this is the first time teaching math (primarily Business before) and I will need to study how to find the center. Seems very engaging. I have the students that opt out of calc and trig so they are not very math motivated. Let me know how it comes out. If you have any ideas of an engaging lesson for these kids, please email me.

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