Students surmise what the difficulty of a jig saw puzzle entails and use rate calculations to estimate finishing times. They try to confirm whether doubling the number of pieces really increases puzzle completion time by a multiple of four.

# Category: Math and Art

## String design, ellipses, and orbital mechanics

Artistic way to encourage understanding of a conic section. Participants physically build an ellipse by choosing two foci and sketching the figure through a loop of string. While stitching an elliptical string design they puzzle about varying the foci spread and the loop length to create more extreme ellipses and are intuitively introduced to the measurement of eccentricity.