Stars and Stripes

Purpose:  As a result of this activity, students will be able to apply proportional reasoning to solve a realworld problem. 
Related Standard & Benchmarks:  Mathematics   Standard 3.  Uses basic and advanced procedures while performing the processes of computation     Level III [Grade 68]     Benchmark 6. Uses proportional reasoning to solve mathematical and realworld problems (e.g., involving equivalent fractions, equal ratios, constant rate of change, proportions, percents) 


Student Product:  Illustration with description 
Material & Resources:  Current specifications for the United States flag 
Teacher's Note:  Standard proportions for the U. S. flag can be obtained at http://www.usflag.org/flag.specs.html. This website also contains a variety of other flagrelated information that students might find interesting, including images of historic U. S. flags. 
Activity 
Students use proportional reasoning to design and describe a U.S. flag which reflects the incorporation of a 51^{st} state. The teacher provides the following instructions:"The United States Flag has been redesigned many times since 1776. A local manufacturing company is intrigued by the possibility of Puerto Rico becoming the 51^{st} state. They want to have a newly designed flag on hand to propose in case there is a need for an updated version of the flag. They’re holding a contest to find a flag design that will suit their needs. They would like to continue the tradition of 13 stripes and the number of stars corresponding to the number of states. Since flags can be made in any size, all of the elements must be described proportionally. Design a new flag and describe your design in such a way that it can be easily duplicated in any size (use current U. S. flag specifications as a model)."
