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Passing under a bridge

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I learned from this assignment how to calculate the height needed to pass under a bridge with an object mounted to my vehicle. Before this project, I was unsure on how I was going to calculate the …

I learned from this assignment how to calculate the height needed to pass under a bridge with an object mounted to my vehicle. Before this project, I was unsure on how I was going to calculate the height at a specific point. Using the parabolic shape of the bridge I was able to plot points and create a sketch to determine if I had sufficient clearance to pass under the bridge. In real life this can be something important to know. Hitting a bridge can not only damage your property, if the structure is weak, the impact can cause it to collapse.

A parabola can also be used to calculate trajectories. When you throw an object, in the air or off a bridge, it follows the path of a parabola. This can be used to determine the height of the object based on the distance from the base.

I used the conics form of the parabola equation (x-h)^2= 4p(y-k) to calculate the solution. This activity increased my understanding of parabolas and now I am able to utilize this knowledge in everyday life.

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