Math Lesson from the Olympic Games

Among the myriad math lessons offered to us by the Olympic Games, here’s one involving just the rings. I recently challenged myself to model the rings using Geometiles, and came up with what you see against the background of the UCSD Track and Field Stadium.  When Susan Lopez of LopezLandLearners saw this picture, she realized that it would make a great estimation problem: How many triangles and squares does it take to make one of these rings, just by looking at it? What a great way to start children thinking about estimates….

An exercise in modeling a real life tile pattern

What a great exercise it would be for a child to figure out how to “model” this wall with only equilateral triangles and squares. This is exactly the kind of thinking that the writers of the Common Core Math standards illustrate in the draft of their Geometry Progression for Grades K-6, pp. 7, 11-12. Geometiles™ were used for the modeling task, as shown above….

Driving by the Embarcadero

Stuck at a traffic light, and, lo and behold, a DODECAHEDRON! A closer look reveals it’s standing on a platform made of pentagonal antiprisms stacked on top of one another. I later learned the sculpture is called SOMA and is a creation of the Flaming Lotus Girls. In the meantime, I made my own little…