Angle of water slide

Difficulty:
higher

Rating:
4-stars

GCSE Marks:
3-marks

GCSE Text:
The steepest part of a water slide can be represented by this triangle, measuring 40m high, and 20m wide.  What is the angle of the steepest part of this water slide from the horizontal?

water-slide

Suggestions:
A simple trigonometry question requiring students to use Sin, Cos & Tan rules to solve.  Common mistakes are around the rearranging of the correct function formula, however, if the final angle proves too difficult for them, method marks will be awarded for working out any of the following:

  • Selection of the correct trig function and identifying Hypotenuse, Adjacent and Opposite sides.

It may be useful for students to identify on the drawing the hypotenuse, opposite & adjacent sides.

Extension Ideas:
Teachers could extend the learning by considering:

  • How far is the rider travelling during this portion of the slide?
  • In the USA, the steepest raft slide (called the Verruckt) has an angle of 60 degrees from the horizontal and guests travel down a slope of 65 metres in length before levelling out. How high is the top of the slide?

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