Distance Between Two Points

Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) is an effort by California State University, Northridge to support science teachers in the San Fernando Valley. The concepts being developed by CSUN can be applied to all subject matter at all grade levels.

Click here to visit the CSCS website

How do you get from one point to another?

  • Open the map and the Google Form. Answer the questions on the form.
  •  The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. To find that distance, it may be easier to find the distance by "taking the streets" first. These distances for a right triangle. The shortest distance is the hypotenuse of the triangle. Open the example.
    • Example
    • This example shows that you can easily count the distance of the legs of the triangle, but it is impossible to count the distance of the hypotenuse. 
  • To find the distance between two points, we use the Pythagorean Theorem. Open the Desmos calculator to view the points and the distances between them. 
    • Desmos
    • Type the Pythagorean Theorem in for the hypotenuse. It solves for the length automatically!
    • Now create your own right triangle and find the length of the hypotenuse by solving the Pythagorean Theorem for c. 
    • This is the distance between the two points
    • Take a screenshot of your triangle and answers and add it to our class Google Slides