Week 48: Bubbles!

Pipe cleaners have so many uses and one of the best ways to use them is to make bubbles. This week I encourage learners to build mathematical structures with pipe cleaners, straws, string, or other waterproof toys to create beautiful structures. I used Zometools in some of my classes as well, and they were a big hit. If this is being done inside, then a fan can be a great tool with a small tub of soap. I did this in my Village Home classes from a few years ago and it was great for 5yrs to 16yrs to adults. Diluted dish-soap worked well for us, but some folks have special formulas for bubble solutions to make them last longer.

Try to create cubes, pyramids, octahedrons, dodecahedrons, cylinders, and two dimensional portals for bubbles. What is so cool about bubbles is that they can fill in the sides/faces for the skeletons that are created, and yet curved bubbles emerge when they exit the structure. Things to discuss would be volumes, vertices, faces, paths, hypercubes, ellipsoids, air currents vs bubble size, etc..

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Week 47: Math Dance

Get up and move! This week learners can dance their favorite equations, math symbols and concepts. Whatever topic is of interest or in the process of being learned is a great one to figure out the dance moves that go with it. I recommend taking 5 to 10 of your favorite moves and making it into a mathematically choreographed dance.

Here is one approach:

  • Pile 1: Make flash cards for the vocabulary, plots, or concepts that you want to move to.
  • Pile 2: Make flash cards for the body parts that you want to move with (hands, feet, legs, arms, whole body, etc.)
  • Draw a card from each pile, turn on the music, and get some moves.
  • Note: you can play with sequences, beats, or number of repeats as well. (This works in a virtual environment as well – have a dance break!)

Here is an example generator I made:

See the Pen MathDance by Sophia (@fractalkitty) on CodePen.

To run it in a separate tab (good for screen sharing) click here.

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