Inspired by this post from Geoff Kraal, I am going to spend the next five class days (80 minutes each) plus homework time working on a large-scale project in which my three geometry classes will build small, child-size soccer goals out of PVC pipe. When we’re finished, the goals will be given to faculty children (including one goal for mine!)
The students will be broken into groups of 6 to 8. Each student will, individually:
- Decide what size pieces of PVC they will need using the Pythagorean Theorem for the diagonals
- Figure out the angle they need to rotate the diagonal pieces using tangent ratios
- Create a scale 3D model of the diagram using the online 3D modeling software 3DTin. I will provide them with this template for the fittings. This will require them to work and think in three dimensions, of course, as well as deal with scaling.
- Write a report explaining all of the above, with extra focus on the mathy bits.
- Create the goal itself. Every student will measure and cut at least one piece, while one student manages the process.
- Make a video documenting the design, building, and assembling process. Several students will work on this as writers, editors, and videographers. (Mathematical communication)
- Make a document that contains instructions and diagrams for assembling the goal from the components, since some of our goals will be given to faculty members for their children in disassembled form.