3. Students Pythagorean Theorem to Verify Handicap Ramp Distances

The Best Handicap Ramp


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.G.B.7: Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to determine unknown side lengths in right triangles in real-world and mathematical problems in two and three dimensions.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.G.B.8: Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to find the distance between two points in a coordinate system.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSG.SRT.C.8: Use trigonometric ratios and the Pythagorean Theorem to solve right triangles in applied problems.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.ID.C.7: Interpret the slope (rate of change) and the intercept (constant term) of a linear model in the context of the data.

Standards for Mathematical Practice:

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP4 Model with mathematics

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP5 Use appropriate tools strategically

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP6 Attend to precision.

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP7 Look for and make use of structure

Learning Objectives:

Students will design and produce scaled model of a handicap ramp to accommodate a specific request

Students will use slope and Pythagorean Theorem to verify handicap ramp distances

Students will print 3D ramps that meet ADA specifications and parameters set by dimensions of the project


Group Size: 3 to 4 students, depending on how many variations you would like students to compare within the class setting. For a smaller class, groups of 2 would be ideal.

Class Size: up to 36 students

Materials Required:

At least one computer per group, loaded with Google Sketchup

Paper and pencil for drafting

Airwolf 3D Printer

Ruler to verify dimensions

Images of handicap ramps

Download this free 3D printing lesson here: 3. PythagoreanTheorem

Download the free STL models here:
Final Ramp (SketchUp file)
Handicap Ramp with Steps (SketchUp file)
Handicap Ramp with Steps (.STL file)

Video on how to make a ramp – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRJ_VsQcuRk

For a video on creating a How to create a Wheelchair Ramp, go to http://youtu.be/5o3UWBoNDZQ

Questions to Ponder:

What were some of the challenges in designing the ramp?

What did you learn during the project?

During this project, where have you seen ramps that look out of compliance?

If you were wheelchair-bound or handicapped, would you rather have a steeper slope and less distance to travel OR a lower slope and more distance to travel?

What are the legal ramifications of wheelchair access? (Check out this lawsuit)


Content & Instruction Developed by:
John Stevens – Airwolf 3D STEM Consultant
Instructional Coach – Technology
Chaffey Joint Union High School District
CUE Rockstar Faculty & Organizer
Google Certified Teacher
TwitterBlogResourcesAuthor (Flipping 2.0)