Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bubbling Up

The math keeps bubbling up...

First, there was the day of "bubble technology" experimentation.  Out of the assembled household items which ones made bubbles?  Which of the bubble makers made big bubbles and which made small ones?  What did all the bubble makers have in common? 

Then a chance to invent your own bubble maker.  This one is a tea ball/straw combo that actually made bigger bubbles than just the tea ball alone.

And, of course, a chance to make as many bubbles as you can without fainting!  “Look Mama, math shapes in the bubbles!!”

Then, there was the chapter in The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat where we learned more about the mathematics of bubbles including the new concept of "triple junction".  That's what is created when bubbles come together in a cluster to create three 120 degree angles.

The bubbles tell Penrose: "Regular hexagons fit together perfectly leaving no gaps.  They tessellate a plane.  The same idea is true of bubble clusters but in 3-dimensional form."

Which then becomes a perfect review of the regular tessellations we experimented with a few weeks prior.

And, later in the day, at least three examples of triple junctions were found spontaneously by the child: on a soccer ball, in the petal formation of a snow drop, and in the back-view of old-fashioned suspenders.  Oh 'three-ness' how I love you! 

My goodness, math is everywhere and the child now no longer needs to be prompted to make connections. Thanks to a good six months of her first grade year devoted to Sidewalk Math, as a second grader she can now find examples of a new math concept in multiple environments all on her own.  I love that!

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