Polyhedral Crafting

I started the year once again feeling unsatisfied with the spare, utilitarian look of my classroom.  So, having given up on finding math-related posters I liked, I decided to head over to Math Monday to look for some cool looking thing I could make this weekend.  The result:

Tensegrity polyhedra, made from 3/16″ dowels and standard rubber bands, based on this little article by George Hart.  The coolest thing about them is that no two sticks are actually touching each other (which makes me wish I’d used different color rubber bands).  Or maybe it’s that they can collapse like this…

…and then snap back into shape.  Or maybe that they bounce. (Yep.)

In any case, they were really fun to make–the dodecahedron turns out to be a great spatial reasoning puzzle as you get close to the end–and I think they’ll make good toys or decorations.   And there’s tons more inspiration for mathy crafts at Math Monday (as well as at georgehart.com and vihart.com).  Maybe I should crowdsource this by offering it as extra credit–that ought to get the classroom looking good in no time 🙂

3 Comments

  1. Posted September 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great stuff. Ever checked out Math Munch? (mathmunch.wordpress.com)
    We post crafty math art things like this all the time. We share it with our students each week. Maybe you’d like to do the same.

    Thanks as always!

    • Posted September 9, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hey Paul–thanks! Yeah, a colleague pointed me to Math Munch a little while ago, and it’s great!

      • Posted September 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Anand! The Math Munch Team are fans of the Park School stuff as well. Happy to co-inspire. 🙂

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