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PBS Teachers

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Mathline

Outdoor Projects

How Many Shingles?  |  Pricing a Deck  |  Fencing the Yard  |  Career Connections  |  More Math Concepts

Outdoor Math - Wooden Deck Ready to roll up your sleeves for some outdoor math? While you're pounding nails or sawing boards, you can also be reinforcing math skills--this month's Concepts activities provide some good examples.

Although this month's theme could involve very high-level math used in architecture, we'll concern ourselves with simpler applications you might use in actual outdoor projects in your community.

Activity I focuses on the math needed to construct a hip or gable roof. Geometry and estimation are involved in figuring out the surface area of the roof and the total number of shingles needed to complete the job.

Activity II involves designing a deck. This tests students' problem-solving skills by asking them to find the most cost-efficient way to produce several deck designs using different lengths of lumber.

Activity III presents the problem of building a fence from pre-formed sections, and asks students to determine the total cost of the construction project.