Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from maureen, a teacher:

the question asks for the area of a trapezoid with parallel sides 5m and 6m and height of 2.5m
I have done it by dividing the trapezoid into 2 triangles and reach the same answer as my manual---11.25 sq. m
My would you illustrate this? I read this to mean to sets of parallel sides, which would mean it is a parallelogram and not a trapezoid.
Any suggestions?

Well, you did get the right answer (see sketch) but there is only one pair of parallel sides - one of them 5m long, one 6m long. Your interpretation is more or less plausible, but it would not lead to a soluble problem, as there would be no way of telling which pair of edges the height was measured perpendicular to.


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