Sail Area Calculations

This Sail Area Calculations lesson plan also includes:

Do bigger sails mean that the sailboat goes faster? Middle and high schoolers compare sailboats, and learn that simply calculating sail area is not enough. A slideshow presentation demonstrates how to calculate the Sail Area to Displacement Ratio in order to compare the potential speed of sailboats. 

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CCSS: Adaptable

Instructional Ideas

  • For more accurate sail area calculations, use the formulas provided in the supplemental resource
  • Use a spreadsheet program to set up formulas to do the calculations
Classroom Considerations

  • Lower grade classes should use a scientific calculator in order to calculate the Sail Area to Displacement Ratio
  • The sixth lesson in a seven-part series

  • The handouts provide opportunities for pupils to practice the calculations

  • The handout does not come with an answer key
Common Core