Data-driven 4IR skills development

Squares, Cubes and Roots

Squares and square roots come in very handy in geography when using the theorem of Pythagoras to calculate the distance between two points based on a right-angled triangle. The theorem of Pythagoras states that in any right-angled triangle, the square of the diagonal (hypotenuse) is equal to the sum of the squares of the shorter sides of the triangle. In geography if we have two points, $A$ and $B$ on the Cartesian plane (x – horizontal axis and y- vertical axis) and their coordinates are known then the differences in the coordinates in the x-direction $(M)$ and y-direction $(N)$ can be used to calculate the distance between them.

Distance between  $A$ and $B$ = $ M^2 + N^2$

The square of 5 is $5^2 = 25$ because $5^2 = 5^1 \times 5^1 =25$

The square root of 4 id $\sqrt{4}=2$ because $4=2 \times 2$

The square of the expression $a^3$ is $(a^3)^2 = a^3a^3 = a^{3+3}=a^6$

The square root of $36x^8$ is $\sqrt{36x^8} = 6x^4$ because $6x^4 \times 6x^4 = 36x^8 $

Using the laws of exponents $a^{\frac{1}{2}} = \sqrt{a}$ and $a^{\frac{3}{2}} = \sqrt{a^3}$

Two cubed, means $2^3 = 2\times 2 \times 2 = 8$

The cube root of 8 is $\sqrt[3]{8} = 2$

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Edzai Conilias Zvobwo is passionate about empowering Africans through mathematics, problem-solving techniques and media. As such, he founded MathsGee. Through this organisation, he has helped create an ecosystem for disseminating information, training, and supporting STEM education to all African people. A maths evangelist who teaches mathematical thinking as a life skill, Edzai’s quest has seen him being named the SABC Ambassador for STEM; he has been invited to address Fortune 500 C-suite executives at the Mobile 360 North America; was nominated to represent Southern Africa at the inaugural United Nations Youth Skills Day in New York; was invited to be a contributor to the World Bank Group Youth Summit in 2016; has won the 2014 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development award for his contribution to women’s empowerment in education; and has partnered with local and global firms in STEM interventions.

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