The Great Geometry Soccer Goal project ended a couple of weeks ago just before spring break, and I’m finally ready to finally debrief. I already wrote many of my thoughts at the mid-point of the project, so this one will be brief.
If you’re interested in seeing the products, here are the videos they made. They vary in polish, but all show the scope of the project well This was not the only product, but it is currently the only publicly available one; need to do some name removing, etc, before I can share snippets from reports or instructions.
Was it worth it?
Yes. I may streamline it a tad to take 4 class days instead of 5 next year (our class days are 80 minutes), but it’s worth it either way.
Did they learn anything that will help with their test?
Probably not. We learned tangent ratios, and practiced the Pythagorean theorem and some arithmetic, but especially with spring break right after they still had to be retaught tangent on our return.
So what DID they get out of it?
Visual thinking with 3D shapes. Recognition of the practical value of certain math topics. Mathematical communication skills. Learning to use a saw. Value of precision, but also seeing where there is room for a little error. Fun! Honestly, though, i think the mathematical communication and 3D manipulation skills are probably the most “measurable” for a math class.
I will probably use TinkerCAD next year instead of 3DTin, just because 3DTin seems to be a dying project, even though I prefer it a bit. I may skip the 3D modeling entirely, since it’s time consuming for the outcome, but I really like it so I’ll probably keep it. I will tweak the job assignments, but not much; my hard work in advance worked out well there. I will pray for no snow days. I may add other elements: have them calculate the cost of the goal using the Lowes website, for example.
I highly recommend this project, or one inspired by it, if you have the ability to buy and cut PVC with your students. It was a lot of fun.