Mathematics: Applications & Concepts, Course 2
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Unit 5 WebQuest Project

It's All Greek To Me

Introduction | Task | Process | Guidance | Resources | Conclusion

Are you ready for some time travel? You've been selected to join us on an adventure through the ages, back to the time of the ancient Greeks. Along the way, you'll research the life and mathematical discoveries of Pythagoras. You'll also explore many three-dimensional solids known to the ancient Greeks and construct one of your own. Our time machine will be leaving soon, so pack your geometry tool kit and prepare to meet a geometry giant!

The Task
Below is a brief description of each challenge you will complete on your journey. The Process section has a detailed description of each challenge. Also, the Guidance section has some helpful hints, and the Resource section has useful Web sites for you to use.

Greek Challenge 1:
First, write a short report on Pythagoras and the Pythagorean Theorem.

Greek Challenge 2:
Second, investigate and write a report on the platonic solids known to the Greeks.

Greek Challenge 3:
Third, create a presentation that includes both of your reports and a three-dimensional model of at least one platonic solid.

The Process
Below you will find a detailed description of each activity.

Greek Challenge 1:
Use the Internet to research Pythagoras and the Pythagorean Theorem. Use at least 3 different Web sites. After completing your research, write a 2-3 page report of your findings. Include the following items in your report:

    • biographical information on Pythagoras;
    • how and when Pythagoras developed the Pythagorean Theorem;
    • real life applications of the Pythagorean Theorem; and
    • other areas of math besides geometry that make use of the Pythagorean Theorem.

Greek Challenge 2:
Now research the three-dimensional solids known to the ancient Greeks. These solids are known as Platonic solids. Include the following items in your report:

    • a explanation of the characteristics of Platonic solids
    • the number of Platonic solids
    • an explanation of why there are only a limited number of these solids
    • the name and description of each Platonic solids
    • a sketch of each Platonic solid
    • a table showing the number of faces, edges, and vertices for each platonic solid
    • a description of the symmetry of each solid
    • an explanation as to why these solids have been named Platonic solids and
    • nets of at least three different Platonic solids

Greek Challenge 3:

  1. Construct a model of one or more of Platonic solids. You can use construction paper or gumdrops and toothpicks to create your model(s).

  2. Now it is time to put all of your information together and create a presentation. Your presentation should include:
    • both of your reports,
    • a picture of Pythagoras, and
    • your Platonic solid(s).

If you are having difficulties with a particular challenge, you have come to the right place! Below are some helpful hints for each challenge.

Greek Challenge 1 and 2:
Remember to properly cite all of your web sources in your report. To properly document your sources, click HERE to see MLA format.

Greek Challenge 3:

  1. Use the Internet to search for platonic solid net or instructions on how to build a platonic solid from gumdrops and toothpicks. Remember, there are some helpful Web sites in the Resource section.

  2. Some of the presentations that you could create are:
    • a Web page,
    • a PowerPoint® presentation,
    • a newspaper/magazine article,
    • a poster, or
    • a video.

Below are some useful Web sites that you are advised to use to successfully complete this WebQuest. Just as a reminder, you are not limited to these Web sites. Instead, they are simply a starting point.

Cool Math Sites
Pythagoras of Samos

We hope you enjoyed your journey through time. Now that you are firmly back in the present, what were your impressions of our dear friend Pythagoras? Quite a remarkable man, wouldn't you say? And to think that he and other ancient Greeks discover so much of the geometry we know today with out the aid of a computer!

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Mathematics: Applications & Concepts, Course 2