Using a Sine Bar
By Janet Braun
The learner will use the deceptively simple sine bar to measure angles to minutes or even half minutes.
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This learning object shows how the shape of a stain defines the angle of impact. In general terms the more circular the stain, the more perpendicular will be the angle at which it struck the surface. The more elliptical the shape of the stain, the more acute the angle will be. With practice and experience, the analyst can recognize the general angle of impact based solely on the shape of the stain.
The target audience of this learning object is trigonometry students who have already learned what a radian is and have already derived the key values of the coordinates associated with common radian units, but now need to practice finding those values on the unit circle. The student does not need to know the definition of the six trig functions to do this activity.