Broken Pipe in a Classroom: Student Work (Sequel)

Here is a link to the original post on the broken pipe in a classroom problem.

This is the email I received from a teacher at a different school:

I don't have all the details and may not be able to get them... a pipe in my room burst on Monday and caused water damage in the hallway end and a total of 6 classrooms in full or in part... I have been told varying amounts as to how high the water was in my room and mere estimation by our custodial staff on how much water they themselves eliminated... the plumber said that the little copper pipe was spewing 12 gal per min...

Some of the outcomes of this activity:

  • Students gained a stronger understanding of Excel. Many students chose to write formulas and use the fill handle to brute force the time it would take to fill the various bathtubs.
  • Students deduced the connection between casework, writing out values, finding a trend, and generalizing through trying to write formulas for the volume of each bathtub as time passes.
  • Students discovered finding the "center" of a semicircle is more challenging than they anticipated. (see the half-cylinder tub on the original worksheet) Several used Geogebra to find the center through geometric construction.
  • One of the students made some progress on understanding 3-dimensional graphing with Geogebra 5.0 Beta.

Here are some examples from student work on Excel:

This student (below) chose to write the functions for fill and drain as linear functions in Geogebra:

Here is some work by a student trying to find the center of a semicircle:

A student modeled a theoretical room using Geogebra 5.0. (Apologies in advance for the sound quality.)

The students submitted written reports summarizing their thinking in this activity. I wanted to see a progression in their thinking from specific cases - like the percentage of a tub filled after 10 minutes - to generalized cases.


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