Applying maths to solve problems in the real world…

Temperature drop

Difficulty: Rating: GCSE Marks:

GCSE Text: Beth is on a road trip from the beach to the top of a local volcano. The temperature at the beach is 35ºC, although the temperature will drop as she drives higher and higher. She stops at a town exactly one third of the height of the eventual destination, and there the temperature is 31ºC.

If the temperature continues to drop at the same rate, what temperature can Beth expect at the top of the volcano?

Suggestions:
A common style of foundation GCSE question combining a grasp of fractions and basic numeracy. Most students work out the difference for the first part of the journey, but then different approaches are often seen. A class normally takes 4-5 minutes to solve this.

Extension Ideas: Teachers could extend the learning by considering:

Whilst at the top, the temperature across the island drops by 7ºC. What is the temperature at the beach likely to be?

As Beth travels back down, she stops half way. What would the temperature likely be at this destination?