# How can the distance formula be used in real life?

Normally, we use the distance formula to find the distance between two points within the coordinate plane that are diagonally across from each other; not vertically or horizontally away from each other. Students tend to look at these examples and cannot find how the distance formula works in the real world. It’s tricky to make this connection to the real world that will apply to every student. Here is an example that could be used.
You are putting up a flagpole in your back yard, which requires you to put in cement footing in order to keep the flagpole upright. Cement takes a couple days to fully set, so you are required to attach three support wires to the flagpole in order to keep the flagpole vertical while the cement dries. In order to properly support the flagpole, the support wires are attached to the top of the flagpole, the support wires are stretched tight, and then staked to the ground nine feet from the base of the flagpole.
If the flagpole is 12 feet high, how long is the support wire from the top of the flagpole to the staked point on the ground?
If a bundle of support wire comes in lengths of 10 feet per bundle, how many bundles will you need to support the flagpole?
Hope this example works.

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