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NJ High School Students Explore Center City For Final Calculus Exam

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(credit: Steve Tawa)

(credit: Steve Tawa)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

TABERNACLE, NJ (CBS) — A group of about 50 students from Seneca High School in Tabernacle, New Jersey were all smiles while taking their final calculus exam. How is that possible? Well, the exam was in Alfresco, in Center City Philadelphia.

Tawa: So this is the final calculus exam? Eating cheesesteaks and pretzels and measuring love sculptures?

Teacher:  You got it.

Jennifer Denn, a teacher at Seneca High, looked on as students broke out the tape measures in LOVE Park on JFK Plaza, giving the LOVE sculpture a once over.

“They’re rotating it three pi over two radians and seeing what the new shape is.”

Students like 18-year old Angie Rubino were tasked with finding sculptures, statues and signs around Center City, in between a food stop at the Reading Terminal Market and a swing through the Hard Rock Cafe, using calculus to solve real life application problems.

There was the pesky problem of measuring the height of the William Penn Statue atop City Hall.

“We were off by about a half.”

Tawa: Well, you couldn’t get up there with a yardstick?

Student: No, so we used the art technique, with the thumb and everything.

So, rather than sweating the details of the AP Calc final in the classroom, the students from a small town in Burlington County, the Gateway to the Pine Barrens, had a crash course on navigating Center City.

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