Pumphrey's Math

Patterns, everywhere

Within 10 years, every math classroom will have one of these

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It’s a cool trick, you think of something and then you can make it. But a visit to 3D printing company 3D Parts Manufacturing quickly convinced me that this could be a hugely powerful tool to help build understanding in mathematics.

Think about it:

  • After considering volume and surface area of 3d shapes, you could see your ideas come to life
  • After considering the coordinate plane, you could see your ideas come to life
  • After considering maximization and minimization problems, you could see your ideas come to life
  • After considering solids of revolution, you could see you ideas come to life

Using this well will be an art form. The temptation to be ‘hey, look how cool this project is because we used 3D printing’ will be strong. If used well, this could be an incredibly powerful tool to make more abstract ideas become more real. like an extreme version of Desmos, this visual, hold-in-your hand manifestation of mathematics will bring us ever closer to answering oh so common question, Why?

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Author: PumphreysMath

A British Math(s) Teacher now living in Indianapolis, USA, aiming to show my students how questions are often more important than answers. Presenter of the MathEd Out Podcast and contributor for the Guardian Teacher Network.

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