In On Your Mark, students use proportions to determine what would happen if Olympic races were organized differently and explore this even further in two project tasks, Field Day and The Quick and the Tall.
Current Version: April 22, 2014
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is fast...very fast. He’s also tall...very tall. At 1.96 meters (6’5”), Bolt towers over his competition. So does this give him an unfair advantage, and what would happen if instead of everyone running the same distance, Olympic sprinters ran distances based on their heights?
In the launch activity of On Your Mark, students use proportions to determine what would happen if Olympic races were organized differently. Would Bolt still win?
Students explore this even further in the project tasks. In one task (which you may elect to do before the launch activity) students hit the track and run. They then return to class, measure their heights, and discuss whether there’s a relationship between height and running time. In another, students research a different Olympic racing event and see what would have happened had the race been organized proportionally. They then determine which type of event (fixed distance or proportional distance) is the fairest way to crown a champion, and explain why.