Education Technology

Exploring the Binomial Theorem

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Students expand expressions using Pascal's Triangle and verify the results on a Computer Algebra System CAS tool.

Before the Activity

  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 1 - 8 from the attached PDF file for the class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to the class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Enter an expression and expand it
  • Write the first and last terms of the expansion and note the coefficients of each term
  • Recognize a pattern in the results
  • Verify the observation using CAS
  • Write down the numbers from the coefficients' pattern in the form of a triangle
  • Find the sum of the numbers in each line of the triangle
  • Expand an expression using the Pascal's triangle
  • Check the result using CAS
  • After the Activity

    Students complete the exercises listed on the activity pages.

    Review student results.

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary