Materials: calculator, paper

Work alone or in pairs.

Pascal was a French mathematician who lived in the 1600s. He is well–known for discovering the pattern of numbers shown in the triangle below. Other mathematicians may have known this pattern of numbers before his time.

Pascal's Triangle |
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1 |
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1 |
1 |
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1 |
2 |
1 |
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1 |
3 |
3 |
1 |
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1 |
4 |
6 |
4 |
1 |
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1 |
5 |
10 |
10 |
5 |
1 |

Procedure for the Activity

Step 1Describe how each row in Pascal’s Triangle is found by using the row above it.

Step 2Copy the rows shown and complete 3 more rows.

Step 3Find the sum of the numbers in each row of Pascal’s Triangle.

Step 4Make another Pascal’s Triangle using percents. Call it Pascal’s Percent Triangle.

Look at row 3 in Pascal's Triangle above. The sum of the row is 4. Since 1 is 25% of 4 and 2 is 50% of 4, write 25%, 50%, 25% in row 3 of Pascal's Percent Triangle. Continue Pascal’s Percent Triangle for nine rows.

Pascal’s Percent Triangle |
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100% |
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50% |
50% |
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25% |
50% |
25% |

Wrapping Up the Activity

Write a paragraph describing all of the patterns that you can see in Pascal’s Percent Triangle.

Alicia Klaassen

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