On Tuesday in Math Art Seminar, a student and I started to create the shapes we’d need to create a living version of one of Paul’s imbalance problems. I made nets for the shapes in GeoGebra and then we cut some out and folded and taped them up. Since then some of my seventh graders created more of these colorful, hangable shapes
Today I attached them to some dowel rods with yarn. Then some of my colleague Kevin’s fifth graders and I worked on getting the different parts to (im)balance just right. We made progress, but didn’t get it to work quite. Plus we had added so many pennies that the whole thing was getting kind of heavy. Later in the day some of my seventh graders used pennies and staples and were able to get it to work. We hung the finished mobile in the hallway outside of our classroom. Yay! After school I took some pictures and some video. And voilà! Imbalance Problem Vivant!
And it’s a good thing I took pictures, because unfortunately by Monday morning the mobile was down. The shapes weren’t crushed or anything, so we’ll give it another go soon—this time with better securing of the yarn (and maybe a less busy display venue.)