The Wall Street Journal has an article about airline seats shrinking over time. It’s packed with measurements which scream “math project” to me.
Some relevant data from the article:
- There are ten seats per row in economy on a Boeing 777 with two aisles
- Economy seats are 17″ wide
- Aisles are 17″ wide, plus two 2″ armrest spaces on each side (so 21″ except at your knees)
- First class seats are 21″ wide
- Regal movie theater seats are 25″ wide
- Amtrak seats in coach are 20.5″ wide
- Stadium seats at Barclays Center are 19″ wide
In the 1990s, Boeing 777s had 18.5″ seats in coach
Update! Another article from the Sydney Morning Herald, explaining the sleep benefits of a one inch increase in seat width.*
What’s The Project?
I want to hear what you might do with this intriguing data, but here were a few quick ideas I had:
- Find the width of school chairs and compare to airline seats.
- Build a scale model of coach and first class seats.
- Multiply across the rows to find its total width, compare with the actual data
What kind of a project would you build around this data? Remember to think about conflict in math. Let us know what grade/subject you’re teaching.