Abacus Operator Report


For the WebQuest Activity

A Creative Encounter of the Numerical Kind


Step 1:  Save this page to your personal network drive (Save As; Drive h; Abacus Operator Report; OK).  Or, you can save it to your customary data storage location.

Step 2:  Use the “Back” arrow on the browser toolbar to go back to the WebQuest instruction page.

Step 3:  After reopening this page in a separate window, you are ready to type the answers as you visit the Internet sites on the WebQuest.


Visit each of the following Internet sites, which are linked on the Process Page of the WebQuest.

  1. When was the abacus invented?


  1. What two early civilizations do we think could have invented the abacus?


  1. What were the materials used for the first abacus?


  1. What is the value of one of the beads on the top row?


  1. What is the value of one of the beads on the bottom row?


  1. How do the rows relate to place value?


  1. Double click the beads on the abacus to reset all row values to 0.  Click the beads to make the abacus show the number 15.  Hit Alt/Print Screen to capture the picture and paste it here:


8.  What is the Salamis Tablet?


  1.  Did the Greeks and Romans have a symbol for 0?
  1.   How did the Greeks and Romans show 0 on an abacus?


  1. How is the Chinese suan pan different from the European abacus?


  1. What did the Japanese name the two parts of their abacus?


  1. Scroll down to the larger abacus and practice counting in different bases.  Manipulate the abacus by clicking on the beads.  Reset the “radix” to smaller numbers for counting in smaller bases.  Make sure you are especially familiar with counting in base 4, since you will have to show this counting method during the group presentation.



Can you see any advantage in using an abacus instead of a modern calculator?  Be sure to explain your answer in detail.