Christmas has come early to my local Co-Op. I was intrigued enough to buy and eat the new Christmas chocolate, but not before marvelling at the mathematical elegance of it’s structure:
Image credit: http://www.distinctiveconfectionery.com/personalised-christmas-triangular-toblerone-box.html
The slab of equilateral chocolate breaks up into 9 smaller equilateral triangles. Or you could tessellate more of the big triangle.
Break off the corners and you get a hexagon.
Break off one corner and you get a trapezium.
Two triangles together makes a parallelogram … or it a rhombus? Good discussion point there!
The bar weighs 60g – how much does each triangle weigh? What about the weights of the other shapes you could make?
The dimensions are listed as 180x180x10mm. Where would these measurements fit on the triangle? Is it the length, width and height? Why? Can you calculate the dimensions of the other possible shapes?
Once you start thinking about it, there are lots of activities you could do … and there is the potential to eat your work! As usual, if you are going to do this, make sure you are aware of food allegeries.
Just a picture of a beautiful triangular structure today:
The Arctic Cathedral, Norway
This has to be seen to be believed.
Is it a square table?
Is it a triangular table?
If you browse the Museum of Maths website, you’ll find so many great ideas – many by George Hart (co-founder of MoMath & Vi Hart’s dad). The posts were originally part of a collaboration between the ‘Make’ magazine website and MoMaths. The archive of projects and new posts are now available from the MoMath site.
I’ll bet you’re thinking about how to get one …
Forget making hearts with your hands – that’s so 2012! Triangles and quadrilaterals are the way to go.
This is quicker than getting whiteboards out, can be used as a memory aid and keeps mischievious fingers busy.
The basic L shapes (my assistant had been busy with felt tip pens before being photographed).
Index figures and thumbs together.
Index figures together, thumbs overlapping.
Index fingers and thumbs joined at 90 degrees.
As for the rectangle, but opposite angles equal (as opposed to 90 degrees).
Thumbs part way down index fingers at 90 degrees.
As for the square, but opposite angles equal (rather than 90 degrees).
Index fingers together, thumbs together, all pointing upwards.
Index fingers pointing up, thumbs pointing down.