### Tags

Lesson Plan Industry Sector
Engineering & Design

## Measuring and Evaluating Slope

### Lesson Plan Overview / Details

In this lesson, students will learn the concept of slope as applied to landscape design and the reasons why correct and legal slope must be adhered to in the design process.

### One class period

Instruction and Demonstration
55 Minutes

### Objectives and Goals

• Students will understand the need for accurate measurement and construction of wheelchairs pathways and ramps.
• Students will work together using measurement tools to determine slope of a given area.

### Activities in this Lesson

• As the students enter the classroom, have the short video playing over and over so the students can see and begin to question why the person in the wheelchair crashes.

Take the class to a place on campus that is rated unsafe for wheelchair access.  With the wheelchair empty (or with some weight in it - not a student), send it down the slope.  Time the wheelchair as it reaches a point at the bottom.  Measure the distance traveled.  Go to another place on campus with a slope and measure the same distance.  Again, time the wheelchair over that distance.  Compare the two times.  Ask:

• Why did the wheelchair on the first slope goes the distance faster?
• Why is the second slope over the same distance not as steep?
• What would happen if a new construction site didn't know what slope to make pathways?
• What would happen if a real person were in the wheelchair on the first slope?
• YouTube- Wheelchair + Crash = Extreme Laugh.wmv [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ] Several clips of kids going down a steep slope in a wheelchair.
• Lecture Notes.doc [ Download ] Worksheet for students to take notes and calculate slope.
• Measuring and determining slope relates to my unit in Landscape design.  After demonstrating with a wheelchair crash dummy, return to the classroom.  Show the video again.  After the students have had their laughs watching the crashing wheelchairs, introduce the concept of slope.  Slope, as used in landscape design, is the rise over the run and when converted to a percentage cannot exceed the allowable slope per ADA standards.  This exercise is necessary for the students to know how to design the pathways in a particular area to be landscaped for student use.

Find an area of your campus that needs a new landscape.  Brainstorm with your students the possible uses for the area and if it can be used by students for break, lunch, study groups, etc.  When it is used by students, it must adhere to ADA standards for slope.

I give the formula for calculating slope and give several samples of the calculations.  I then explain how to convert the number into a percentage.  I make sure they understand the concept of the percentage since many of my students are in lower level math courses.  I also show how they have already leaned slope calcualations in their math classes by using an X, Y graph.

I draw a diagram of an area with arrows indicating the direction of slope.  I then explain the process of measuring the distance with the tape measure (run) and then using the string and bubble level to get a level line over that same distance.  Once the string is level, have the students measure the vertical distance from the bottom of the slope to the end of the string line.  That distance will be the rise.

I show the calculations and then convert to percentage and compare the percentage to the standard for pathways in ADA regulations.,

• Outside Demonstration - Demo / Modeling

Now it is time to go outside and have student volunteers man the tools as I talk them through the procedures.  Have a 50 foot tape measure, at least 50 feet of string, and a bubble level.  It is helpful to have an area close by to avoid having to spend a lot of time walking from the classroom and then returning.

Do the slope measurement in several places in order to compare the slope.  As the measurements are being taken, reinforce terminology and proper handling of tools.  Ask if there are other ways to determine slope.

Once the students have seen how to measure the slope several times, question the class to check for understanding.

### Assessment

Assessment Types:
Observations, Worksheet,

When demonstrating the calculations, use the provided worksheet for students to take notes.

When outside observing the wheelchair demonstration, have students write down observations before asking for feedback to the demonstration.

When demonstrating the measurement in several sample areas, have the students write down the measurements and do the calculations.  Check to see that all have come up with the same slope.