Archive for the ‘Geometry’ Category

If you ask a graduating senior, and most adults, what topology is, you will either get a crazy answer that it has something to do with maps or they may look at you with a blank stare in their eyes. Not many people outside the mathematical realm realize tht topology “is a major area of mathematics concerned with properties that are preserved under continuous deformations of objects, such as deformations that involve stretching, but no tearing or gluing. It emerged through the development of concepts from geometry and set theory, such as space, dimension, and transformation” (Wikipedia).

While reading The Mobius Strip by Clifford Pickover, I decided that this video would be the first of a series of videos that I would show relating to topology. In the coming weeks I will be showing videos that relate to perfect squares, knots, and possibly some other topics that I discover while reading Pickover’s book.

Rather than come up with a worksheet, I’ve decided to present the students with a series of scenarios for them to try on their own.

  • If you cut along the middle of a Möbius strip, what do you end up with? Does Mr. Ug ever reunite with his dog?
  • What happens if you cut along a Möbius strip a third of the way in from the edge?
  • Create a Möbius Strip sandwich by taking two strips of paper one on top of the other, like two pieces of bread in a sandwich. Together give the strips both a half twist and tape them as if you were constructing a sing Möbius strip. What do you get?

Usually, I like to keep my questions short, because I find a lot of students are really intrigued by Moebius strips and they continue to discover on their own.

On a side note, I think it would be fun to crochet. Maybe if I ever learn how, I can make something like this.

My Fake Wall

Posted: June 29, 2011 in Classes, Geometry, Math, Remedial Math
Tags: , ,

Earlier this year I came across a post from the Free Technology for Teachers Blog that introduced My Fake Wall, that allows you to create a fake Facebook style profile. At first, I thought it might be kind of tough to work into a math class, but after clicking on Leonhard Euler‘s page, listed on the homepage, my ideas began to roll in. I love the idea that Euler’s page is full of true historical facts, but also that it includes crazy comments that you would expect to find on someone’s Facebook wall.

There are tons of different mathematicians throughout history, but there are also other great ideas that one could with this site. How about a page for geometric shapes, algebraic properties, trig functions, etc. There are so many possibilities!

I love the fact that my students will be able to create something related to math, but also have the ability to show their creativity, which is something that math doesn’t always allow.