Technology

# How to Find the Area of a Trapezoid

## 1. Definition and Properties of a Trapezoid

A trapezoid is a quadrilateral with only one pair of parallel sides. The parallel sides of a trapezoid are called the bases, and the non-parallel sides are called the legs. The height of a trapezoid is the perpendicular distance between its bases.

Some important properties of a trapezoid include:

• The angles that are adjacent to the bases are supplementary (add up to 180 degrees).
• The diagonals of a trapezoid intersect each other.
• The midsegment of a trapezoid is the line segment that connects the midpoints of the non-parallel sides. The length of the midsegment is equal to the average of the lengths of the bases.

## 2. Formula for Finding the Area of a Trapezoid

The formula for finding the area of a trapezoid is:

A = ((b1 + b2) * h) / 2

Where:

• A is the area of the trapezoid
• b1 and b2 are the lengths of the two bases
• h is the height of the trapezoid

To use this formula, you need to know the lengths of the bases and the height of the trapezoid. If the height is not given, it can be calculated using the Pythagorean theorem or by using the midsegment of the trapezoid.

## 3. Step-by-Step Method for Finding the Area of a Trapezoid

To find the area of a trapezoid using the formula, follow these steps:

1. Identify the lengths of the two bases (b1 and b2) and the height (h) of the trapezoid.
2. Add the lengths of the two bases together: b1 + b2.
3. Multiply the sum of the bases by the height: (b1 + b2) * h.
4. Divide the result by 2: ((b1 + b2) * h) / 2.
5. The resulting value is the area of the trapezoid in the units squared.

It is important to make sure that the lengths of the bases and the height are in the same units before performing the calculation.

## 4. Examples and Practice Problems for Finding the Area of a Trapezoid

Example 1:
Find the area of a trapezoid with base lengths of 6 cm and 10 cm, and a height of 4 cm.

Solution:
A = ((6 + 10) * 4) / 2
A = (16 * 4) / 2
A = 32 cmÂ²

Example 2:
Find the area of a trapezoid with base lengths of 12 in and 8 in, and a height of 5 in.

Solution:
A = ((12 + 8) * 5) / 2
A = (20 * 5) / 2
A = 50 inÂ²

Practice problem:
Find the area of a trapezoid with base lengths of 15 ft and 9 ft, and a height of 6 ft. Round your answer to the nearest whole number.

## 5. Real-World Applications of Finding the Area of a Trapezoid

The formula for finding the area of a trapezoid has many real-world applications, including:

1. Construction: The area of a trapezoidal-shaped roof or a trapezoidal-shaped room can be calculated using this formula.

2. Landscaping: The area of a trapezoidal-shaped garden bed or a trapezoidal-shaped lawn can be calculated using this formula.

3. Carpentry: The area of a trapezoidal-shaped workbench or a trapezoidal-shaped table can be calculated using this formula.

4. Surveying: The area of a trapezoidal-shaped plot of land can be calculated using this formula.

5. Manufacturing: The area of a trapezoidal-shaped piece of sheet metal or a trapezoidal-shaped piece of plastic can be calculated using this formula.