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Investigating Bisectors in Triangles Part 1

The small rural towns of Archimedes, Bernoulli, and Cantor have decided to build a common utility provider. They are trying to determine where to build the utility so that it is equidistant from the three towns. Assume that the locations of the three towns are not collinear. Which of the two constructions reviewed in the last 2 class days will be useful in a problem of this type? Explain your reasoning for this choice.

How many times could this construction be used in a triangle? Complete the chosen constructions on the triangle below, where A, B, and C represent the three towns.

Describe how this process will result in a point (label it U) that is equidistant from points A, B, and C. Verify that UA=UB=UC by drawing a circle centered at U that intersects points A, B and C.

Vocabulary - IMPORTANT!! You should have found that the three bisectors constructed on triangle ABC intersected at a common point. When three or more lines (rays or segments) intersect at a common point they are called concurrent lines (rays or segments). The point of intersection is called a point of concurrency. The point of concurrency for the perpendicular bisectors of a triangle is called a circumcenter. The circle centered at the circumcenter circumscribes the triangle. This simply means it will intersect all 3 vertices of the triangle. Pick up a copy of an obtuse triangle and a right triangle from the table at the front of the room. Construct the circumscribed circle for each. Then complete the sentences below. When the perpendicular bisectors are constructed in an acute triangle, the circumcenter is located __________________ the triangle. When the perpendicular bisectors are constructed in an obtuse triangle, the circumcenter is located __________________ the triangle. When the perpendicular bisectors are constructed in a right triangle, the circumcenter is located at the __________________ of the ______________________. Concurrency of the Perpendicular Bisectors of a Triangle Theorem The perpendicular bisectors of a triangle intersect at a point that is equidistant from the vertices of the triangle. (When told the perpendicular bisectors have been constructed, you may conclude that the circumcenter is equidistant from the vertices.) Complete the proof of the theorem by filling in the blanks below. Statements 1. Segments PX, PY, and PZ are perpendicular bisectors of segments AB, BC and AC, respectively. Reasons 1. Given

2. PA = PB PB = PC PA = PC 3. 4. P is equidistant from A, B, and C


3. Transitive Property 4.

A town planner is trying to decide whether a new household X should be covered by fire station A, B, or C. Determine which fire station should be alerted in the event of a fire at household X. Assume that traffic congestion in each region is not a factor.

A mycelium fungus grows underground in all directions from a central point. Under certain conditions, mushrooms sprout up in a ring at the edge. The radius of the mushroom ring is an indication of the myceliums age. Assuming that the radius of a mycelium increases at a rate of about 8 inches per year. Determine the approximate age of the mycelium that is shown in the diagram.

Find the midpoint of each side of triangle ABC.

Find the equations of the perpendicular bisectors of each side of the triangle.

Find the point of intersection of two of the perpendicular bisectors.

Show that the intersection point also lies on the third line.

Verify that the point of concurrency is equidistant from the vertices of the triangle.

Class Notes This investigation will lead S to an understanding of perpendicular bisectors in a triangle. Students have previously covered the theorems related to perpendicular and angle bisectors and are asked to apply those concepts as they relate to perpendicular bisectors in triangles. The investigation may be completed as group work, but every S should have a copy of the results for his/her notebook. Upon completion of the activity, students are responsible for completing the following parts of the Illuminations activity Pizza Delivery. These pages, as well as any work not completed from the investigation, are to be assigned as homework. http://illuminations.nctm.org/Lessons/PizzaDelivery/PizzaDelivery-AS-ThreePizzerias.pdf http://illuminations.nctm.org/Lessons/PizzaDelivery/PizzaDelivery-AS-FourPizzerias.pdf http://illuminations.nctm.org/Lessons/PizzaDelivery/PizzaDelivery-AS-FivePizzerias.pdf

Note: The word problems created were taken from our course Geometry book by McDougall Littell.