#MathArtChallenge 100: Balloon Polyhedra

In the first, allow me to thank each and every one of you who has participated in the #MathArtChallenge in the last few months. This is my “last” post. Meaning, I don’t promise to make more Math Art Challenges, but there’s always the chance that something will come up…

All of the #MathArtChallenge-s will continue to be up on this blog, and I really hope that you’ll make use of them in your classes or in your fun time or however brings you joy.

The Challenge: Today, you get Balloon Polyhedra. There’s actually several papers written about this, so go check them out.

Materials needed: Twisting balloons, pump, patience
Math concepts you could explore with this challenge: angles, arithmetics, counting, geometry, graph theory, polygons, polyhedra, symmetry, vertices/intersections

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#MathArtChallenge 95: Magic Squares

Overhead view of lego towers arranged in a 3×3 grid.

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

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#MathArtChallenge 93: Archimedean Solids from Vertex descriptions


The Challenge: Using a vertex description, build yourself one, two… up to all 13 of the Archimedean solids.

Materials needed: Card stock and tape (painter’s tape is great, or masking. Other stuff will work, but I’ve had more success with the paper-y tapes.) OR Magnatiles, but those can get pretty pricey.
Math Concepts: structure, polyhedra, angles, 3D structure

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#MathArtChallenge 90: Sand Piles

The Challenge: Explore a toppling sand pile.

Materials Needed: Paper, pencil, and probably a good eraser. You could also do this using a whiteboard or other writing surface.
Math concepts you could explore with this challenge: algebra, arithmetic, counting, fractals, functions isometric, proportions/ratios

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#MathArtChallenge 88: the Recamán Sequence

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 concepts you could explore with this challenge: algebra, circles, counting, functions, proportions/ratios, randomness, sequences

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#MathArtChallenge Day 71: Sona Drawings

Given what’s happening in my community right now, I felt it was necessary to highlight some Black brilliance today.

The Challenge: (Re)create a Sona drawing. I did a couple hours of research yesterday (which is totally insufficient to fully understand it), but what I can tell you is that these drawings originate with the Chokwe people in southwestern Africa, specifically Angola and the southern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The drawings are told in conjunction with a story, and the goal of most is to draw them in as unbroken a line. Please check out some of the resources below, and if you have others to add, I’d love to see them and link them here.

Materials Needed: grid, pencil, paper, perhaps graphing software.
Math concepts you could explore with this challenge: angles, counting, geometry, graph theory, proportions/ratios, slope, symmetry, vertices/intersections

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#MathArtChallenge Day 68: Unknotting Number

A crocheted knot with the phrase “but if you change some crossings…”

The Challenge:

Materials needed: whiteboard?, pencil/paper?
Math concepts you could explore with this challenge: circles counting, knot theory, topology, vertices/intersections

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#MathArtChallenge Day 54: Permutations

Day54 MAC

The Challenge: Represent a pattern of permutations

Materials Needed: ??? There are so many options here. I used paint, but you could draw, use yarn, legos… anything.
Math concepts you could explore with this challenge: combinations & permutations, counting

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#MathArtChallenge Day 51: KNOTS (Finally)


The Challenge: Can you find the 4, 5 and 6 crossing knots?

Materials needed: Patience, creativity, paper, pencil, maybe some strips of t shirts and a safety pin?
Math concepts you could explore with this challenge: Combinatorics & permutations, counting, graph theory, knot theory, topology, vertices/intersections

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#MathArtChallenge Day 48: Squidge’s Challenge


The Challenge:

Materials Needed: Paper, pencil, colors
Math concepts you could explore with this challenge: angles, counting, geometry, lines, vertices/intersections

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