Cooking with math

Cooking with math

Enjoying hotdogs from their homemade cookers, students from Mr.Bradfield’s Algebra II class participate in their picnic, on May 23, during both lunches. Students created hotdog cookers using parabolas for extra credit.

Marilyn Ramirez, Copy Editor/Co-Editor-in-Chief

Mr. Bradfield’s Algebra II classes were taken outside the classroom as they created their own hot dog cookers, from May 21- May 25, during both lunches. Since the previous week held grueling review work and CSTs, Mr. Bradfield decided to not halt his curriculum, and instead incorporate an activity that applies to everyday life. Parabolas, the curve formed by a set of points on a plane that are equally distant from both a given line and the focus, were the basis in the classes’ outdoor activities.

“We’re going to be using the shape of parabolas to produce our hot dog cookers,” Bradfield said. “It’s going to be great if everyone brings something to participate in our picnic.”

Students brought in their cookers, which were constructed using a cardboard box, metallic poster, and a metal skewer. The box served as a base, the metallic poster provided the heat, and the skewer worked as a holder for the hot dog. Applying math to the design, the metallic poster would be bent into a parabolic shape, capturing the light from the sun and directing it to the focus, i.e. the skewer.

Participants gathered during both A and B lunches, beside the B building with their homemade mini-cookers.

“Mine seems to be the only one working really well,” junior Kisha Wheat said. “The dogs may not get too hot but they’re cooked and that’s all I care about.”

Students enjoyed the time spent out of the classroom; even those who did not create their own extra-credit project contributed to helping others with theirs. The week leading up to the luncheon was filled with ideas and plans in motion for designing the cookers. One question on everyone’s mind was how harshly Bradfield would be grading them.

“It’s kind of confusing that hardly anyone got a perfect score when we worked so hard to decorate and construct the perfect hotdog cooker,” sophomore Samantha Medina said. “Hopefully everyone’s works and our food gets graded instead.”

Fortunately, very few constructors had poor results from their math-inspired designs. Next year’s end-of-the-year outing will hopefully hold the same successes as the parabolic hot dog cooker.