Finding Approximate Pythagorean Triples (and Applications to LEGO Robot Building)
CSTA Nifty Assignments in CSTA 2022 Annual Conference
Computer Science Teachers Association
This assignment combines programming and data analysis to determine good combinations of side lengths that approximately satisfy the Pythagorean Theorem for right triangles. This can be a standalone exercise using a wide variety of programming languages, but the results are useful for determining good ways to assemble LEGO pieces in robot construction, so the exercise can serve to integrate three different units of the Exploring Computer Science high school curriculum: "Programming", "Computing and Data Analysis", and "Robotics". Sample assignment handouts are provided for both Scratch and Java programmers. Ideas for several variants of the assignment are also provided.
Ronald I. Greenberg, Matthew Fahrenbacher, and George K. Thiruvathukal. Finding approximate pythagorean triples (and applications to LEGO robot building). http://rig.cs.luc.edu/~rig/PythagoreanLegoCSTA-2022 linked from http://csteachers.org/nifty, July 2022.
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