Category: Math and Art

4th of July

Hot dog eating; Flag art; Fireworks on your calculator; Creating a 5-pointed star with one cut; and a possible new, 52-star flag.


What do you think this activity might be about? What do you wonder? How much would you pay for this piece of art? How much profit is involved in this sale?

What can you tell about a snowflake?

As a snowflake falls from the sky, its crystal grows according to the humidity and temperatures of the air that it passes through. In this activity, students interpret a graphic that clarifies that growth and try to deduce what conditions…

Tree for Springtime

What is happening here?

Here in the Northeast, flowers are blooming and trees are leafing out. We thought the creation of a tree that grows before your eyes might be akin to what is going on all around us. What do you see that…

12/16/20 – Pythagorean Triples

This would be a good date to play with Pythagorean Triples. Pythagorean Triples and coloring – Pythagorean triples are not only handy for students to recognize but produce some interesting and lovely patterns.  We’ve combined a little coloring with our Pythagorean…

Ravensburger huge puzzle

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.

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.

Pascal coloring and modular math

Clock math, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,1,2,3,4,5,6,7… is modular math. Let your students learn about the usefulness of modular math as they color and explore Pascal’s Triangle. Very pretty math!

Point of view

If you have a set of cubes for your classroom, this would make a great group hands-on project. Its an old puzzle but the activity deserves a revisit. Below are two straight-on images of my stack of blocks. Can you…

Spiraling squares – compass and straight edge

Can you see the many spirals in this design? Students calculate the size of each increasing round of squares and consider what sort of spirals these must be. The activity: SpiralingSquares.pdf Working with a little mathematical art is a great…