The power of a number represents repeated multiplication of the number (e.g., 8³ = 8 · 8 · 8). The base is the number that is multiplied, and the exponent represents the number of times the base is used as a factor. In the example, 8 is the base, and 3 is the exponent.
Perfect squares may be represented geometrically as the areas of squares the length of whose sides are whole numbers (e.g., 1 ∙ 1, 2 ∙ 2, 3 ∙ 3, etc.). This can be modeled with grid paper, tiles, geoboards and virtual manipulatives.