Students Tackle Math Foundations in 3D

It’s one thing to have a 3D printer, and have it do all the work. But if you really want to understand the surface area and scale of three dimensional shapes, as well as how they work in form and (architectural) function, you have to do the math, and then build it yourself. 


Students in Mr. Tillman’s Foundations of Mathematics class dove into geometry this spring. Then, they were tasked to take what they’d learned and build three-dimensional structures the old fashioned way – with pencils, rulers, paper and tape. The biggest challenge, after deciding what they wanted to build, was calculating the right measurements and accurately drawing out the flat, open versions of each shape. Once they were cut and pieced together, the structures ranged from skyscrapers to homes complete with doors and lounge chairs. 

“Kids don’t often connect how math relates to the real world,” says Mr. Tillman. “There is math in all of the structures around us and this project showed my students that numbers on a piece of paper translate into everyday life.” In fact, some of these students are already using these skills to help Mr. Tieger build sets for the spring musical.