Maths - Resource of the week

25th May 2012 at 01:00

Flights of fancy

Every time I see the topic "bearings" on the scheme of work, I breathe a heavy sigh. There is something about it that makes even the brightest pupils struggle. But martynd's flight simulation lesson brings the topic to life.

What is it?

Pupils become the captain of the Airbus A320 and it's their job to plot three days of flights around western Europe. Along the way they encounter and revise bearings in a real-life setting, while calculating average speed, time, percentages and currency conversions.

Pupils are given a map of Europe and an itinerary detailing their expected departures and arrivals at Gatwick, Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Belgrade. They have five jobs to complete:

- plot the bearings between the locations;

- calculate the distance from scale drawings;

- calculate the average speed for each part of the journey;

- calculate the amount of fuel needed;

- work out the price of the fuel in US dollars and convert into sterling.

Why is it useful?

Project-based maths is more engaging for pupils, encouraging them to work together and demonstrating its practical uses. All the answers are included, so you can start using the resource with no preparation. This is a great way to revise a number of topics simultaneously.

Craig Barton, TES maths adviser.

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