Forestry is applied mathematics part 2: Pythagoras' theorem and SOHCAHTOA

Weatherall, Andrew (2019) Forestry is applied mathematics part 2: Pythagoras' theorem and SOHCAHTOA. Mathematics in School, 48 (3). pp. 5-8.

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Abstract

I can tell it is only the second lecture of the first semester of first year for National School of Forestry students on their 'Measuring Trees and Forests' module because they are already all sat in the room when I arrive, right on time. Also, they hush as I enter. Neither of these things will last, thankfully. I find them slightly disconcerting. "Talk amongst yourselves" I say, and they do, kind of, but not with the lack of care that second and third years would have. It is not that familiarity breeds contempt, but that it takes time for them to grow into the role of adult, and, sadly, fee-paying learners. As soon as I move across from firing up the computer towards the whiteboard, I can feel their eyes on me. I know they are dreading the appearance of more scientific names of tree species to be tested on, but that is a challenge in another first year module.
'S O H C ...' I write, and the murmuring begins.
"Sine" says one.
"Cosine" another adds, confirming at least a couple of them are on the right track.
"Opposite" returns the first.
'... A H T ...'
"Tangent" a chorus now.
"Adjacent", it is the first one again, probably someone who did well at GCSE Maths, possibly even did it at A level, maybe even would admit to liking maths. I had better watch out, they will almost certainly know more than I do.
'... O A'.
Finished I step back to survey the whiteboard with them:
S O H C A H T O A

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Mathematics in School
Publisher: The Mathematical Association
ISSN: 0305-7259
Departments: Forestry and Conservation
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 14 May 2019 13:24
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 05:23
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4769

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