6.1: Angles in Polygons
Learning Objectives
 Extend the concept of interior and exterior angles from triangles to convex polygons.
 Find the sums of interior angles in convex polygons.
Review Queue

 What do the angles in a triangle add up to?
 Find the measure of and .
 A linear pair adds up to _____.

 Find , and .
 What is ?
Know What? In nature, geometry is all around us. For example, sea stars have geometric symmetry. The common sea star, top, has five arms, but some species have over 20! To the right are two different kinds of sea stars. Name the polygon that is created by joining their arms and determine if either polygon is regular.
Interior Angles in Convex Polygons
In Chapter 4, you learned that interior angles are the angles inside a triangle and that these angles add up to . This concept will now be extended to any polygon. As you can see in the images below, a polygon has the same number of interior angles as it does sides. But, what do the angles add up to?
Investigation 61: Polygon Sum Formula
Tools Needed: paper, pencil, ruler, colored pencils (optional)
1. Draw a quadrilateral, pentagon, and hexagon.
2. Cut each polygon into triangles by drawing all the diagonals from one vertex. Count the number of triangles.
Make sure none of the triangles overlap.
3. Make a table with the information below.
Name of Polygon  Number of Sides  Number of from one vertex  (Column 3) in a )  Total Number of Degrees 

Quadrilateral  4  2  
Pentagon  5  3  
Hexagon  6  4 
4. Notice that the total number of degrees goes up by . So, if the number sides is , then the number of triangles from one vertex is . Therefore, the formula would be .
Polygon Sum Formula: For any gon, the interior angles add up to .
Example 1: The interior angles of a polygon add up to . How many sides does it have?
Solution: Use the Polygon Sum Formula and solve for .
The polygon has 13 sides.
Example 2: How many degrees does each angle in an equiangular nonagon have?
Solution: First we need to find the sum of the interior angles, set
“Equiangular” tells us every angle is equal. So, each angle is .
Equiangular Polygon Formula: For any equiangular gon, the measure of each angle is .
If , then each angle is
In the Equiangular Polygon Formula, the word equiangular can be switched with regular.
Regular Polygon: When a polygon is equilateral and equiangular.
Example 3: An interior angle in a regular polygon is . How many sides does this polygon have?
Solution: Here, we will set the Equiangular Polygon Formula equal to and solve for .
Example 4: Algebra Connection Find the measure of .
Solution: From our investigation, we found that a quadrilateral has .
Write an equation and solve for .
Exterior Angles in Convex Polygons
An exterior angle is an angle that is formed by extending a side of the polygon (Chapter 4).
As you can see, there are two sets of exterior angles for any vertex on a polygon, one going around clockwise ( hexagon), and the other going around counterclockwise ( hexagon). The angles with the same colors are vertical and congruent.
The Exterior Angle Sum Theorem said the exterior angles of a triangle add up to . Let’s extend this theorem to all polygons.
Investigation 62: Exterior Angle TearUp
Tools Needed: pencil, paper, colored pencils, scissors
 Draw a hexagon like the ones above. Color in the exterior angles.
 Cut out each exterior angle.
 Fit the six angles together by putting their vertices together. What happens?
The angles all fit around a point, meaning that the angles add up to , just like a triangle.
Exterior Angle Sum Theorem: The sum of the exterior angles of any polygon is .
Example 5: What is ?
Solution: is an exterior angle and all the given angles add up to . Set up an equation.
Example 6: What is the measure of each exterior angle of a regular heptagon?
Solution: Because the polygon is regular, the interior angles are equal. It also means the exterior angles are equal.
Know What? Revisited The stars make a pentagon and an octagon. The pentagon looks to be regular, but we cannot tell without angle measurements or lengths.
Review Questions
 Questions 113 are similar to Examples 13 and 6.
 Questions 1430 are similar to Examples 4 and 5.
 Fill in the table.
# of sides  # of from one vertex  (sum)  Each angle in a regular gon  Sum of the exterior angles 

3  1  
4  2  
5  3  
6  4  
7  
8  
9  
10  
11  
12 
 Writing Do you think the interior angles of a regular gon could ever be ? Why or why not? What about ?
 What is the sum of the angles in a 15gon?
 What is the sum of the angles in a 23gon?
 The sum of the interior angles of a polygon is . How many sides does the polygon have?
 The sum of the interior angles of a polygon is . How many sides does the polygon have?
 What is the measure of each angle in a regular 16gon?
 What is the measure of each angle in an equiangular 24gon?
 Each interior angle in a regular polygon is . How many sides does it have?
 Each interior angle in an equiangular polygon is . How many sides does it have?
 What is the measure of each exterior angle of a dodecagon?
 What is the measure of each exterior angle of a 36gon?
 What is the sum of the exterior angles of a 27gon?
Algebra Connection For questions 1426, find the measure of the missing variable(s).
 The interior angles of a pentagon are and . What is ?
 The exterior angles of a quadrilateral are and What is ?
 The interior angles of a hexagon are and What is ?
Review Queue Answers

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Date Created:
Feb 22, 2012Last Modified:
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