Applying maths to solve problems in the real world…

Area of shade sails (foundation)

Difficulty: Rating:

GCSE 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:

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%.