A Laboratory Component for Geometry

Marsha J Davis

The recently designed course, Geometry, funded by a Connecticut State University Curriculum Development Grant, was taught for the first time spring semester 2002. The creation of the course was a direct result of student requests. Support materials for the course included David Henderson's text Experiencing Geometry, Internet resources, and lab worksheets. Once a week, the class met in a computer classroom so that students could work on laboratory projects using the Geometer's Sketchpad. This paper will describe course coverage and classroom dynamics of this non-traditional course. In addition, the difficulties encountered during the development of the laboratory component will be discussed. These difficulties included finding (possibly) good material written in non-compatible versions of Sketchpad, adapting the level of pre-existing labs written for high school students, authoring laboratory material appropriate for college mathematics majors, and making the lab component mesh with students' classroom experiences. Sample labs on topics such as perspective drawing, proof by dissection (topic in Henderson's text), and making conjectures will be shared with the participants. Student work will be included as part of this discussion.