Quandaries
and Queries 

Hello, My daughhter, who is a 9th grader is attempting to cut a piece of wood after determining the length of the cut for the hypotenuse. These are the measures: She determined that c should equal 52. But when she measured the actual piece to be cut, c measured 39.5 inches! Can you offer any insight as to what she is doing wrong? I have suggested that she may be working with an Acute rather than a Right angle . But she insists that it is a Right angle after using a "framing square". Thank you in advance, 

Hi Florita, So, a = 16, b = 36, these are the two sides of the triangle, and your daughter simply added them to get 16 + 36 = 52. The formula for the hypothenuse of a right triangle is the square root of the squares of the sides, which in this case is
Your daughter may have tried to do this but did the following mistake:
Indeed the square root of a sum is not equal to the sum of square roots of the terms, so it is important to perform the addition before taking the square root. Claude 

