June 18, 2007

At school my son is looking at polyhedra (that’s the proper word for polyhedrons – like cubes, tetrahedrons, etc).


The other day he came home with pictures of a dodecahedron (that’s the one with 12 pentagon sides) and an icosahedron (20 triangle sides). The icosahedron is really neat. Each point has 5 edges hitting it, and if you hold it right, you can have 5 sides in a top layer, 5 on the bottom, and 10 around the middle. It’s nicely symmetrical, and it feels familiar.

I think the reason it feels so familiar is because if you chop off the corners you get a truncated icosahedron. This makes each point into a pentagon (because there are 5 edges that meet at the point), and each triangle into a hexagon (because you’ve chopped each the corner off). Pump it up a little, and then you can play football with it. I think this should be called an ‘isoccerhedron’ though.

(Image is from the Wikipedia site)

The class didn’t actually look at the isoccerhedron, but I think the class full of boys would’ve enjoyed seeing such an application of polyhedra. After all, maths doesn’t get applied much when you’re in Grade 5.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Roslyn

    You are funny. Love you babe.

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