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In this video, learn how using the Pythagorean theorem can help people solve real-world problems involving distances. In the accompanying classroom activity, students develop their problem-solving, spatial reasoning, and geometry skills by putting the Pythagorean theorem to use. After a brief discussion about how to use the theorem to find the distance between two points on a coordinate grid, students partner up and play a game in which they generate (and then calculate the distance between) two or more points on the grid. As the game increases in complexity, students begin working in all quadrants and begin identifying multiple triangles that they can use to determine the distance between points.

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