Research professor at the engineering school of Stony Brook University, George W. Hart paid a visit to Ms. Asher’s classroom through Math for America for some exciting mathematical workshops that redefined the way students thought about math. You hardly think about mathematics as being hands-on but you’d be surprised. Ms. Asher has already been doing projects that bring math to life beyond the graphing calculator, as evident from her classroom filled with beautiful paper structures meant to represent hyperboloids. Professor Hart showed every student how to create their own mini 3-D hyperboloid out of skewers and then the class came together to create one giant hyperboloid of long wooden sticks that actually expands and contracts. The next class got to create a soma puzzle where groups made seven pieces of no more than four unit cubes that interlock to form a larger cube. Then, each group got to build a giant version out of cardboard boxes. The units could be used to make a variety of designs, even a snake or dragon. Ultimately, it was unique for students to get to experience the visualization of math. George Hart’s research on the art of mathematics presents a promising teaching style that allows students to interact with the math that’s omnipresent around them.
By: Shivanie Rambaran