Okay, this was EPIC.
After the seniors graduated, I had about 2 weeks of class remaining, the only problem being that I still had three juniors to teach… I needed to do something with them, but pushing forward in a math curriculum didn’t make any sense. Instead, I wanted to do something fun and give them a chance to be creative and do something they could be proud of, so I proposed that we partake in some sort of epic math art project. I gave them tons of ideas from MArTH Madness at Saint Ann’s (and they loved the word MArTH), but they eventually decided on doing something completely different…
Behold the final product!
What is it? A ginormous mathy portrait of my face (if you were thinking about saying something snarky about me being egotistical or something, you’re too late, everyone in the math department has been ribbing me for a few weeks now, but I SWEAR they insisted on doing my face). It is 60 inches by 40 inches (yeah… I said ginormous) but it’s made of 1080 small pieces of paper that are 1.5 inches square. We colored each piece of paper individually using oil pastels and put a math symbol on each one then arranged them and glued them on a canvas. So it’s a math teacher’s face… made of math symbols. YESSS.
It looks better the further you walk away from it… here is a zoomed out version (feel free to squint too, if you are so inclined):
But it’s also pretty cool close up… here are some close up views:
The students finished it today while I was proctoring an exam, and left me this sweet note at the bottom – so nice! What a fun way to end the year. Now I just have to find an appropriate place at the school for a 5 foot tall picture of my face…
I wrote about this project back on Sam’s blog this summer when Sam gave me reign of his kingdom for a month or so, but I wanted to share the student work that I got this year from it, because it was much better than last year, and some of the work is actually really beautiful/cool/interesting (Math Art, MArTH anyone?).
The basic premise of the project is to RECREATE A PICTURE USING INTEGRALS by doing the following:
- Upload a picture into GeoGebra.
- Place points around all the outlines making sure to hit critical points
- Fit functions to the outlines.
- Use integrals to shade in the areas between the outlines.
I initially waffled about whether this was a worthwhile problem or just an exercise in integrals, but having taught AP Calculus this year, I realize how these problems of just finding the area of a weird shape are interesting and important for deep understanding of the connection between a Riemann sum and how the integral actually calculates area. So basically, if you think that this is a worthwhile problem…
Find the Area of R and S given that f(x) is blah blah and g(x) is blah blah blah squared.
…then this project is just a glorified, more interesting, more complex version of that problem. If you don’t think that problem is worthwhile, well, then you probably wont like this either. Regardless, it was a great thing to do to hammer in ideas about finding the area between curves, and a great learning mode while AP’s were occurring because attendance did not really matter all that much. It took most students 3 and a half 45-minute class periods (so about 2.5 hours), though I think that more efficient students not freaking out about standardized tests, and consistently present in the classroom, might be able to do it a little quicker.
SOME OF MY FAVORITES:
ALL OF THE STUDENT WORK:
(the good, the bad, the ugly!)