Sunday, 26 March 2017

Visual Math

Making Math Visual

I recently went to a lecture by George Hart and Elisabeth Heathfield (They have instructions and information on their website for many classroom activities).  I was inspired to see how George takes math and makes beautiful sculptures.  We got to try to make a Polylink triangle.  I have to say, I was not successful at that point. It takes me a while to get my mind around 3D objects and in the time we had, I couldn't quite visualize it yet. I did eventually figure it out (perseverance is something I do have) and have made several more.  

I was also fascinated by the hyperboloid.  Curves from straight lines - how cool  is that? So I made one at home too.
Looking down into hyperboloid

I brought these into my classroom to challenge and inspire my grade 8's.  We tried to make the Polylink with card stock but it is not stiff enough.  You really do need to use the craft sticks.  Some of my students really liked the hyperboloids though, so we started with small skewers which turned out okay.  I then got a group the large marshmallow roasting skewers, and that turned out great.  

Math can be about the beauty in the visual, and, is not just calculations and procedure.  

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