J.Engrassia, Mr. Kirkland, 12/01/13
The problem above is the original problem along with the students answer.
I reworked the problem out for myself and concluded that the student was wrong. There was only one sign change but because of Descartes' Rule of Signs there are 3 OR 1 negative real roots.
First, I used the information from the word problem to figure out the equations on each side of the trapezoid. Then, I had to find the height because it was the only variable I was able to put by itself. The height of the trapezoid is 14ft^2.
Next, I plugged in the height that I found back into the original equations to find the base 1 and base 2.
The height of the trapezoid is 14ft^2, the shorter base is 28ft^2, and the longer base is 32ft^2.