Yesterday we took our Pre-Calculus students outside to test their solar cookers. The cookers had three requirements:
1) It must be parabolic and have a quadratic equation.
2) The hot dog has to be placed at the focus point to cook.
3) The hot dog in the cooker must be hotter than the test dog
* The test dog is just a hot dog sitting in the sun (not in a cooker).
One group of students had a hot dog up to 167 degree, while the test dog was 93!!!
While the students were creating their solar cookers, they were very skeptical. "Mrs. Oswald, are you sure this is going to work? It's just cardboard and tin foil!!" Almost every day, the students felt they were wasting their time.
The students were amazed! How about that? Math is actually useful!!!