FARMINGTON — Tibbetts Middle School students took a cold walk Wednesday morning on a mission to measure the height of "Sunny the Big Man," a towering figure on the roof of Sun Glass, a West Main Street business.

Eighth-grade geometry students in Jovita Mowrer's class with hot chocolate in hand made the 20 minute walk Wednesday morning in order to gather data needed to calculate the statue's height.

The project involved a mirror and tools to measure distance and an angle.

"We are (trying to determine) where the top of Sunny's head is from the ground," student Joey Gillen said. "We are looking into the mirror until we see Sunny's head and measuring from the center of the mirror to our feet."

The students were gathering data and using geometry and trigonometry, Mowrer said.

Using an inclinometer the students made in class Tuesday, they will measure the angle and using trigonometry, they'll be able to figure out Sunny's height.

The students in Mowrer's class took algebra in seventh grade and now are in an accelerated math program. Mowrer said students who successfully complete the program will earn two high-school credits.

Mowrer was looking for a way to engage her students by providing a real world scenario to capture their attention. Then Sunny came to her attention.

"I was driving by the other day and I thought, it would be cool for the kids to come out and measure him," Mowrer said.


"This is a landmark here in Farmington, it would be fun to bring in the community on this lesson."

Sun Glass Sales Manager Corey Freeman said the business was eager to help the students.

"We wanted to see how good they (were) with the math and it's nice to see them having fun with the geometry," Freeman said. "We thought that's an awesome idea and we're glad to provide that to the schools."

The parking lot of the business was cleared out in front of the statue to allow the students to place their mirrors on the ground and use measuring tape and rolling distance measuring wheels to compute the distance between the students and Sunny.

Britanie Huffman was standing still, waiting for her partner to find a measuring tape to determine the distance between her and the statue. Huffman said she was excited to try a different approach to a class project.

"I think it's funny, we don't usually get to do this sort of stuff," Huffman said. "I think it will ... give us an experience to remember it by."