A Student Is Standing 20 Feet Away From The Base


Imagine standing 20 feet away from the base of a tree. Do you ever wonder how far you really are from it? In this blog, we will help you understand how to calculate the distance between a student and a student Standing 20 Feet Away from the base when given their positions.

We will break down each component of the problem, including the student’s position and the location of the base, to give you a clear understanding of how to approach these types of questions. Whether you’re studying for a math exam or just curious about how to solve this problem, read on to learn more about calculating distances in real-life scenarios.


What is the distance?

The distance in question is 20 feet, based on the student’s position. It’s crucial to comprehend the question entirely before responding and verifying your answer for precision.

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A student is standing 20 feet away from the base

Standing 20 feet away from the base of a tree, a student’s eyes are 5 feet above the ground as he gazes upwards at a 50-degree angle of elevation towards the top of the tree. Utilizing the value of cos 50= .64, what is the height of the tree rounded to the nearest foot?

23.84 feet

Step-by-step explanation:

To solve this question above, we use the Trigonometric function tangent = Opposite/Adjacent

Other side + h = Height of the tree

We are told that:

Standing at a distance of 20 feet from the base of a tree, a student gazes upwards towards the top of the tree at an angle of elevation of 50 degrees. The student’s eyes are situated 5 feet above the ground.

20 feet = Adjacent side = Distance from the tree

tan 50 = (h+5)/20

Cross Multiply

h + 5 = 20 × tan50

h = 20tan50 – 5

h= 18.835071852

h =18.84

Thus, the tree’s height is determined by:

18.84+5 feet

=23.84 feet

Short description on the way

  1. Distance Measurement:
    • The student is precisely 20 feet from the base. This is the horizontal distance, forming one side of a right triangle if we consider the height of the structure as the other side.
  2. Right Triangle Formation:
    • If we draw a vertical line from the top of the structure to the ground and then connect this point to the student, a right triangle is formed. The base of the triangle is 20 feet, the height is the vertical distance of the structure, and the hypotenuse is the line from the top of the structure to the student.
  3. Applications:
    • Trigonometry: Using trigonometric ratios like tangent, sine, or cosine, we can find unknown angles or heights.
    • Pythagorean Theorem: If any two sides of the triangle are known, the third side can be calculated using a2+b2=c2a^2 + b^2 = c^2.
    • Real-Life Situations: This scenario is common in fields like surveying, architecture, and physics.

Example Calculation

Suppose we want to find the height (h) of the structure and we know the angle of elevation (θ) from the student’s point of view to the top of the structure.

A student’s position

The position of a student plays an important role in determining their distance from the base. In this particular scenario, we have been given that “A student is standing 20 feet away” from their base.

It’s crucial to note that this measurement has been taken in feet. While calculating distances, it’s important to keep in mind whether objects are located in opposite directions or not, as this will affect how we go about solving such problems.

One way to calculate distances involves using trigonometry to form a right-angled triangle with one vertex at the student’s position and another at their base. Trigonometric ratios such as tangent or sine can then help us determine different aspects like “height of the tree,” “top of the pole,” etc., provided we have enough information such as “angle of elevation” or “depression.”

Apart from these fundamental concepts, it’s also essential to understand how old RSM students might approach such problems using different formulas based on what information they are given regarding the triangle.

Additional key terms that might come in handy include “top of the tree,” “angle of elevation of the sun,” and “nearest foot.” It is essential to keep all these factors in mind to ensure accurate and efficient distance calculations.

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The base’s location

When discussing the location of the base in relation to a student standing 20 feet away, it is crucial to clarify exactly what is being referred to as “the base.” This clarification will allow us to use basic trigonometry to calculate either its height or distance from the student’s position accurately. Throughout all calculations, it’s essential to maintain consistency with units of measurement (in this case, feet). Drawing a diagram or picture of this situation can significantly aid visualization.

By considering both opposite directions and the height of trees, we can understand that there may be more than one way to approach this problem. Suppose we assume that “the base” refers to a tree. In that case, we could use the angle of elevation and old RSM students’ knowledge about triangles with right angles formed by tall objects like trees.

Suppose we consider “the base” as something like a flagpole or another vertical structure. In that case, we would want to use the angle of elevation of the sun and the angle of depression to determine the height of the pole from the student’s position.

From there, we could calculate the distance to “the base” using trigonometry.

By incorporating secondary key terms such as the top of the tree, angle of elevation, triangle, the height of a tree, top of the pole, and nearest foot, we can expand on our understanding while still maintaining coherence within our writing.


Calculating the distance

One commonly used method is applying the Pythagorean theorem for right triangles where ‘a’ squared plus ‘b’ squared equals ‘c’ squared (where ‘c’ represents hypotenuse or longest side).

If A student standing 20 feet away needs to calculate his/her distance from the base, treat this 20 feet as one side and find another unknown/missing side by solving algebraic equations based on the Pythagorean theorem.

Another approach is measuring the distance using a ruler or tape measure, but it may not always be feasible when two points are in opposite directions or obstructed by obstacles.


When calculating height such as a tree’s height, the angle of elevation or depression can be used. For example, if a tree casts a shadow of x feet long and at an angle of y degrees from ground level, we can calculate its height by solving for x (nearest foot) in terms of y and then using trigonometry.

It’s important to note units such as ft, and km while describing distances and angles like ‘angle of elevation of the sun’ or ‘angle of depression.’ Old RSM students learned that distance can also be calculated using the triangle formula.

Lastly, consider adding secondary key terms like ‘opposite directions,’ ‘height of the tree,’ or ‘top of the pole’ to enhance content quality.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the distance between the student and the base if they move 10 feet to their right?

The student begins 20 feet away from the base. Moving 10 feet to the right brings them to a distance of roughly 22.36 feet from the base, calculated using the Pythagorean theorem (a² + b² = c²) with a = 20 and b = 10.


How long will it take for the student to reach the base if they walk at a speed of 3 feet per second?

If a student walks at a speed of 3 feet per second and the distance to the base is 20 feet, it will take approximately 6.67 seconds to reach the base. This is calculated by dividing the distance by walking speed.


What does it mean to stand on your own two feet?

To stand on your own two feet means to be self-sufficient and independent, relying on your abilities, decisions, and resources to support yourself without depending on others for assistance or guidance.


Last Word

In this scenario, the student is standing 20 feet away from the base. To calculate the distance between the student and the base accurately, we need to know both their positions. The student’s position is given in the problem statement as 20 feet away from the base.

To determine the base’s location, we would need more information. Once we have both positions, we can use simple math to calculate the distance between them. Understanding distance and its calculation is crucial for various applications in physics and mathematics.

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