Thursday, September 9, 2021

Syd and I Built our Own Polygons


Y'all might remember that I'm seriously into finding obscure education manuals and how-to books in my local university's library system.

Some of what I find isn't amazing, but sometimes what I find is super cool!

This book gave me and Syd a fun afternoon problem-solving, building her math skills, and challenging my apparently very poor spatial reasoning abilities:

The one supply that you absolutely have to have to build your own polygons according to these instructions is a long length of narrow paper--like, a LONG length. The book calls for gummed mailing tape, whatever that is, but Syd and I used a roll of adding machine paper. I think any kind of narrow paper roll would work.

Build Your Own Polyhedra starts by teaching you how to fold your tape to make an endless row of regular, equilateral triangles. You use these as a guide to make further creases and folds, twists and turns that form all kinds of regular polygons--you can explore to find them yourself, or follow the book's instructions to create them.

I had a ridiculously difficult time with both options, to be honest. When I tried to explore on my own, I just kept making the same straight line over and over again, and when I tried to follow the book's diagram to make a regular hexagon, I just... couldn't. It made NO sense to me! I'm used to being the smartest girl in the room so, not gonna lie--it kind of freaked me out!

And then Syd looked for about five seconds at a drawing of the finished folded hexagon--not the instructions, mind you, but just a drawing of the finished product!--and quick as a blink, she promptly folded herself an absolutely perfect regular hexagon:

She kindly then walked me through the process, although she kept saying, "Okay, now just repeat that over and over," and I'd be all, "Repeat it... how, exactly?", and she'd patiently walk me through the exact same step one more time. And then another time. And then another, and another, until I thankfully had my own perfect hexagon.

I don't know if we'll go on to create more sophisticated polygons, or even move onto the titular polyhedra, because Syd, as well as having some serious visual-spatial abilities, also has the attention span of a Jack Russell Terrier at an agility competition and so she's already said she's bored with the book and wants to do something different.

Whatever weird thing we do next, I'm sure I'll put it on my Craft Knife Facebook page, so come find me there!

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