Introduce the Project and Generate Interest

1.Introduce the challenge. The challenge in this project is to use geometry to sketch and propose a design for community-oriented multiuse arena. Each team chooses a sport that it would like to promote. However, the design must address four other constraints: 

  • It is located on 20 acres.
  • It must seat 10,000 spectators.
  • It must be capable of being converted for at least two outdoor sports.
  • It must be able to serve as an entertainment venue when not in use as a sports field. 

2. Describe the scenario and the task. Clarify, if necessary.

3. Frame the task with the Driving Question: How can we, as a team of local citizens, propose a winning design for a multipurpose arena for our favorite sport?  

4. Describe the concepts that students will learn as they complete the project. Include the use of coordinates to prove geometric theorems, theorems about triangles and parallelograms, similarity, and volume formulas.

5. Discuss the why behind the project. To gain a deeper appreciation of how geometry underlies the design of structures and helps uncover the most elegant solutions to use of space and building design.

6. If using Curriki Geometry for your students, invite them to the site. Have your students review the student materials available to them. You may also choose to download and print some of the resources for distribution as a student packet. 

7. Anchor rubrics. Students should understand project grading and rubric language.

If your or students would like to change or refine the Driving Question, use this Protocol for Refining the Driving Question.

It’s critical to a good start that students understand they will be assessed on (1) geometry content; (2) mathematical practices; (3) teamwork; (4) presentations and designs.

If your students have no or little experience with PBL, you may have to begin the first day by explaining the process. They can also watch the video Project Based Learning: Explained (approximately 4 minutes) or a video on PBL and mathematics (approximately 30 minutes).


Tips and Tools

Generate interest in the project by using an Entry Event. Examples:

  • Put students in pairs or triads and have them view websites on new multipurpose arenas. Ask them to identify key features of the arena, including use and design. Can they identify geometric principles in the design? Suggested sites:
    o Lancaster Multipurpose Arena
    o Southaven
    o Illinois
    o University of Virginia
    o Design Boom
  • If there is a multipurpose auditorium on the school campus, have them tour and observe. How might this be converted to other sports or used for entertainment? Have them do a quick calculation on dimensions.
  • Discuss your local town or city. Is there a multipurpose arena? Where would it be located? Who would it serve? 
  • Have students start by searching the Internet for multipurpose arenas. What arenas did they discover? How are they designed and for what activities? Share out and discuss.

Students may research field dimensions and bleachers.

Emphasize that teams are trying to win the competition for the best design.