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Developing and Applying the Law of Cosines: Using Star Maps as a Context

Developing and Applying the Law of Cosines: Using Star Maps as a Context
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Author(s): Vecihi S. Zambak (Monmouth University, USA) and Budi Mulyono (Sriwijaya University, Indonesia)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 15
Source title: Cases on Models and Methods for STEAM Education
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Judith Ann Bazler (Monmouth University, USA) and Meta Lee Van Sickle (College of Charleston, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9631-8.ch013

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Abstract

In history, geometry was founded more as a practical endeavor than a theoretical one. Early developments of the branch portray philosophers' attempts to make sense of their surroundings, including the measurement of distances on earth and in space. Such a link between earth and space sciences and geometry motivated us to develop and implement a multidisciplinary lesson focusing on the conceptual understanding of the law of cosines in the context of astronomy. In our content specific STEAM lesson, the authors aimed to facilitate an understanding of the law of cosines in ninth grade students, and then apply the law in a star map task to find approximate distances between stars. The second part of the lesson also included the use of an instructional technology to support students' work with the star map task. In the conclusion, the authors discuss possible ways to improve the quality of their STEAM education efforts for the given context.

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