Area of shade sails (foundation)

Difficulty:
foundation

Rating:
4-stars

GCSE Marks:
3-marks

GCSE Text:
Two triangular shade sails are suspended above a patio to provide shade from the sun. The dimensions of these sails are shown here:
shade-sails-1

What is the total area of shade provided by these two sails?

 

Suggestions:
A simple but real problem involving the areas of triangles. Students need to recall the formula for the area of a triangle, and be able to calculate the total area without a calculator.

Extension Ideas:
Teachers could extend the learning by considering:

  • On the hottest of days, the shade sails stretch a little, so each dimension is increased by 10%. Calculate the total area again, and explain why it has not increased by 10%.

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