Published Online:
Published in Print: July 9, 2003, as Pythagorean What?

# Pythagorean What?

• Printer-Friendly
• Email Article
• Reprints

High school students were asked the following question, which requires that they understand the Pythagorean Theorem and know how to apply it in three- dimensional objects. But New York state educators question whether students have been taught to solve such complex problems.

A straw is placed into a rectangular box that is 3 inches by 4 inches by 8 inches, as shown in the accompanying diagram. If the straw fits exactly into the box diagonally from the bottom-left-front corner to the top-right-back corner, how long is the straw, to the nearest 10th of an inch?

SOURCE: New York State Department of Education

Vol. 22, Issue 42, Page 21

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.

Most Popular Stories