It’s amazing what maths you see when you go for a walk along a canal on a beautiful afternoon. After helping a canal boat through a lock, the following problem occurred to me: how many times must you turn the handle to raise the sluice gate?
Fact: The sluice is controlled by a series of cogs. The handle turns a ratcheted cog with eight teeth.
Fact: The handle turns a small cog with thirteen teeth.
Question: The next cog has ten teeth on a quarter of it’s circumference. How many is this in total?
Fact: This large cog is attached to a small cog with ten teeth, which lifts the vertical post.
Question: From the picture can you estimate how many teeth are on the vertical post?
Question: Given all this information how many turns does the handle need?
Extension: Look at this picture. What is the angle between the foot supports?
On 5th November, I stumbled across the Skills Workshop website when I was looking for a quick Guy Fawkes Night resource. I found a nice Functional Skills task on planning a Bonfire Night party.
My Year 10 Foundation GCSE pupils really focussed on the task and actually asked for more lessons like this.
I used an activity based on units of alcohol, from this site, as an extension task.
We had some interesting conversations about how easy it is to exceed the daily allowances for alcohol consumption. PSCHE in a Maths lesson!
Have a browse of the website and see what you can find!