Franklin High School is lucky enough to have a Maker Space within the building. This space consists of a variety of machines including vinyl cutters, CNC machines, 3D-printers, and much more. Through the past few years, I’ve done my best at supplementing standard mathematics curriculum with hands-on activities in the Maker Space. Here are a few that I’ve done specifically in the Maker Space.
Geometry – Symmetry, Points, Lines, and Angles
Geometry-Symmetry 3D – This project required students to use their knowledge of rotational and reflection symmetry to create a diagram of a 3D shape and print it. Students were given their final 3D shape. We were able to draw on this experience when we got to similarity and dilation transformations because they had seen it.
Extensions on this activity might include creating a scale model of a furniture item from a catalog. Variations on this assignment can be left up to the teacher. Some might decide this is a test-grade, others might consider it part of developing evidence for proficiency.
Geometry – Clinometers
A clinometer is an object that allows the user to view and measure angles from one point to a distant point, using the ground as the initial side of the angle. Students need a protractor, string, a weight, tape, and possibly a few other materials. Many word problems given in the trigonometry portion of Geometry class mention the angles from the ground. This activity can be paired with students measuring the angle of elevation from the clinometer around the school to make predictions of heights of buildings.
Geometry – Constructions
Although this isn’t necessarily a constructions activity or a Maker Space activity directly, I believe in the value here. Students often struggle with the mechanics of using a straight edge and compass. In this short activity I have students draw designs using the compass and straight edge. This works well for those days where there are shorter periods, when you might have extra time, or as a way to warm-up. Coloring them in, putting their names on them, and hanging them in the classroom brings a sense of pride and belonging within the classroom as well. Samples are pictured below:
PreCalculus – Polar Graphing
Students created polar coordinate graphs using the desmos app. In our Maker Space we were able to print mini-posters of their combined work. Pictured are two different class period’s best work.
PreCalculus – Concave Down/Up
An idea that student have struggled with in PreCalculus is determining when a graph switches between concave up and concave down. Pictured are some manipulatives that show the idea; when the colors change, the graph is switching from up/down and visa versa.