Matchstick model to find out why football has hexagons and polygons

Resource Info

Basic Information

You might have already seen Arvind Gupta explaining the basic shapes in mathematics (& simple organic molecules) by a matchstick model. They are easier to make and very important tools helping learners visually the structures spatially.

This discussion takes the theme further.

Duration: 
00 hours 45 mins
Introduction: 

This activity can be done individually, in pairs or in a group of maximum 4 participants. The prerequisites for the session are:

  • Conceptually, the students know the structure of methane & have an idea of vectors
  • Mathematically, the students have exploited the properties of a triangle
  • Among others, they have the motor skills to use cutter safely

 

Objective: 

Apart from reinforcing the polygons, teacher encourages the learners to 

  • find out which models can stand on their bases
  • find out which models can withstand weight
  • check models have faces of 2 or more kind

A teaser for the students could be:

Why do the doors are in rectangular shape (and not triangular, for example)?

A bigger challenge for the students is why are hexagons and pentagons are used in the traditional design of a football? (They need to start with triangle and square models to try constructing a football)

Activity Steps: 
Step 1 Students are asked about various shapes they have seen in daily life and in their textbooks.
Step 2 They could be first shown some Matchstick models and what they can learn from it.
Step 3 Starting group work on the matchstick models, student(s) should remove the phosphor with the cutter. (Max.2 person in a group for this task)
Step 4 Cut the rubber by approximately just less than 2 cms. Enough for 2 sticks to go into it. (Max.2 person in a group for this task)
 
 
 
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