Friday, December 9, 2016

Homeschool Math: Zometool Geometry

We've been using Will's recent geometry unit in Math Mammoth to do a lot of enrichment with Zometools, which are a practically perfect geometry modeling manipulative.

Although I loved geometry as a kid, the modeling of two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures is clearly a place where my own education was lacking, so I've been relying on other Zometool resources to mentor us all.

Zome Geometry gets very quickly out of our depth, as there's very little of the hand-holding that I've come to expect in most teacher's manuals (in fact, when paging through it I feel like young scholars of old must have felt upon being handed an edition of Euclid's geometry and told, "There you go! Read up!"), but the beginning units are well suitable for doing some interesting modeling of two- and three-dimensional figures.

So that's what we did!

We're first meant to make these stars and calculate the interior angles. After you've done a few of those, it's easy to create your own formula for calculating the interior angles of a circle.

Now we're trying to use the star models to make regular polygons. This only works for some of them, and for others, you have to delete some of the spokes.

Will got involved in her own extension activity.

It turned out really cool!

On another day, we were asked to use our polygons to construct both prisms--easy!--and antiprisms--SUPER hard, as we didn't have any hand-holding!

I struggled and struggled and struggled to construct an antiprism from my pentagon model. I found many interesting symmetrical constructions, but no antiprisms!

Will struggled and struggled and struggled as well, first to create antiprisms from her squares, and then, after she gave up on that, to contruct antiprisms from triangles.

She got really frustrated before she finished, but finally...

And this girl mostly did her own thing, but at least she was at the table with us! I have come to believe that the ten-year-old schoolwork stubborn streak is a REAL thing, now that my second kid has it, too.
We're playing around with Zometool geometry some more today, but now that Will has moved on in her Math Mammoth to integers and Syd to graphing, our math enrichment will look very different next week.

Life-sized Battleship, perhaps?

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