Google SketchUp in Calculus Class

Math teacher Rob MacDonald and his advanced calculus class turned to architectural design to help them with calculus concepts. Mr. MacDonald describes the project:

Students were asked to design a small house and were given constraints about area and volume. In order to calculate areas and volumes precisely, they used calculus; they took integrals of the functions that represented the surfaces of the house. Students were expected to perform accurate calculations, but they were also asked to be creative and to think about aesthetics and practicality. Most groups chose to use Google SketchUp, a free application, to create 3D models of their designs.

A short video showing some of the students’ work in Google SketchUp is embedded below.

One Response to Google SketchUp in Calculus Class

  1. karo May 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I think that is a brilliant use of a CAD-based program to further understand the true physics of 3d modeling. There is absolutely no way to really master mathematics on a flat white board.

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