Video Story Problem – Integrals & Yarn

May 24, 2011 by

This is perhaps my most ambitious and difficult to assemble video story problem yet. Which has me seriously conflicted, as it also feels like one of the most traditional, and least inquiry-based story problems. It feels like nothing more than just a “fluffy” version of a typical text based story problem taken straight from a Calculus 1 textbook. However, given the nature of Khan Academy’s very rote problems that exist only as numbers on a digital screen, I had to push forward as the hypnotic nature of the ball winder and umbrella swift made this a very compelling curiosity for me.

I was in Loopy Yarns in downtown Chicago this past weekend, making a quick stop to pick up some Malabrigo lace on the way back from EdCamp Chicago, and I couldn’t help but share this. Most of my video story problems are focused on more elementary and middle school areas of math and science, so it was time to offer up something for the high school crowd. After consulting with a few Calculus teachers (thanks Twitter!), I felt I was able to provide enough background information, and parameters, to make this problem capable of being solved. PLEASE tell me if there’s anything structurally wrong that would prevent a teacher from using this in the classroom; I’m more than happy to make changes.

As always, feel free to add your own questions that you might use with this video in your classroom as comments below!

1 Comment

  1. Nancy

    We will be discussing this during the last few days of Calculus BC. Thanks for posting!