The Proof is in the… Sandbox?

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by Kennedy Aragon-Scriven, Grade 8

On Monday, September 12, the Grade 8 math classes got together — outside the classrooms — along with their teachers to do math the way the ancient Greeks did. With nothing but some chopsticks, twine, chalk, sand and the driveways as our paper, Mrs. Mackenzie, Mrs. Hart and Mr. DeMerchant (dressed in togas) attempted to teach us some basic geometry.

On the concrete driveway with Mrs Mackenzie, we constructed compasses out of chalk and chopsticks, then used them to draw perpendicular lines without rulers. It took a few tries and some extra help but we finally got the gist. Next were equilateral triangles with Mr. DeMerchant. In the sandbox we learned how to prove a triangle was equal by drawing arcs with chopsticks and measuring with string. Last but most certainly not least, Mrs. Hart taught us how to properly bisect angles using circles, arcs and rulers.

This was much more fun than the typical textbook approach and definitely switched up the normal schedule. It was very enjoyable for everybody and gave us the opportunity to do math the same way Greeks did so long ago.

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