The Challenge: Create a magic square. Bonus points if you make it a physical thing.
Materials Needed: Legos, blocks or coins all work well for making these towers. Could also be pen/pencil & paper, of course. Math Concepts: Algebra, arithmetic, counting, proportions/ratios, structure, sum of 1-n integers
Materials Needed: Paper, pencil, and probably a good eraser. You could also do this using a whiteboard or other writing surface. Math conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: algebra, arithmetic, counting, fractals, functions isometric, proportions/ratios
The Challenge: Create a visual (or audio?) of the Recamán sequence, created by a Colombian mathematician, Bernardo Recamán Santos (who seems to have very little biographical information out there??). I was first introduced through Alex Bellos and Edmund Harris’s book.
Materials Needed: Straight edge, maybe a compass, maybe a ruler. Paper, riting utensil. Math conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: algebra, circles, counting, functions, proportions/ratios, randomness, sequences
The Challenge: Build yourself a wobbler. Wobblers are 2 circle (or 2 ellipse!) constructions that have a constant center of mass. Or rather, a center of mass that doesn’t move up and down as the wobbler rolls. Thus, resulting in a satisfyingly continuous “wobble”.
Materials Needed: cardboard, ruler, boxcutter or scissors Math conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: algebra, angles, circles, geometry, proportions/ratios, symmetry, vertices/intersections
The Challenge: Start by making (or use mine below) a Pascal’s Triangle. Then shade in some sequence of values. I suggest starting with even/odd numbers, and then perhaps multiple of 3, 4 etc.
Materials Needed: Pascal’s triangle. You can print one or you can create your own! Math conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: algebra, arithmetic, combinations & permutations, counting, functions, proportions/ratios, sequences, symmetry
The Challenge: Fold your very own Hyperbolic Plane from a simple piece of paper!
Materials Needed: A square piece of paper. Youtube instructional video below! Math conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: Algebra (how many folds per stage?), angles, counting, exponents, functions, geometry, Hyperbolic planes, proportions/ratios, sequences, symmetry, topology, vertices/intersections