PBS Teachers™

PBS Teachers

Multimedia resources & professional development for America's preK-12 educators.

Mathline

History & Mathematics

Proving the Pythagorean Theorem | Magic Squares and Stars | The Tower of Hanoi | More Math Concepts

Stone HengeMany famous problems and puzzles have come down through the centuries that are as interesting today as they were at the time of their origin. Some have been modified for today’s technology and skills, but we will look at the original problem.

Activity 1, (Grades 6-9), offers a history of the Pythagorean theorem. This activity also offers a few hints before asking students to complete several different proofs of the theorem.

Activity 2, (Grades 4-8), deals with the age old Chinese problem, the Magic Square and the Magic Star. The activity includes an explanation of how Magic Squares and Magic Stars are created. Students are asked to complete examples of Magic Squares and Magic Stars with missing numbers.

Finally, Activity 3, (Grades 4-8), deals with the ancient Hindu problem, the Tower of Hanoi. This activity includes Internet links that allow students to solve the puzzle of the Tower of Hanoi online. Students will solve for the algebraic equation predicting the minimum number of moves to solve the puzzle.