Using Geometer's Sketchpad ®

Tutorial Prepared by Armando Martinez-Cruz, California State University, Fullerton

Technology can make the learning of mathematics in general, and of geometry in particular, more meaningful and enjoyable.  Geometry is intrinsically visual and computer graphics can aid in its understanding.  Software such as The Geometer's Sketchpad (GSP, Jackiw, 2001) allows one to combine visual representations with dynamics.  This dynamic component means we are able to drag, stretch, and manipulate constructions without losing the geometric properties used to make such constructions.  You will find that visual and dynamic capabilities foster exploring, investigating, solving, conjecturing, and even posing problems in geometry.  In short, you will feel like a true mathematician while doing mathematics with dynamic software. 

The goal of this module is threefold: First, to provide a basic introduction to the dynamic geometric software, GSP; second, enable you to do some basic constructions; and third, use the constructions and the familiarity with the software to investigate other problems of your own interest.  The directions provided refer to the newest version of the software, version 4.  We included some short comments about version 3.2 in the webmodule.  More extensive comments are at the end.  All of these comments will allow you to adapt the directions and complete the examples presented here.  However, it may be necessary that if you have an older version than version 4 that you read those notes to become more familiar with the version you are using.


Getting Started
The Toolbox
Example 1 -- Constructing Segments
Example 2 -- Constructing Polygons
Example 3 -- Constructing an Equilateral Triangle
Example 4 -- Constructing a Right Triangle
Example 5 -- Constructing a Right Isosceles Triangle
Example 6 -- Constructing a Square
Example 7 -- The Pythagorean Theorem
Example 8 -- Constructing a Rectangle
Problem Set
Notes for Previous Versions