Finally Making a working Peaucellier Linkage

Why does this project NEVER turn out?  It happens that we have been missing a critical fact.  The arm of the linkage is NOT the same length as the radius (k) of the larger reference circle used for the inversion even though we wanted it to be.  The workshop is littered with failed tries.  The arm length and the sides

Take and Make: Napier’s Bones Calculator

Paola Garcia1 Comment

Napier’s Bones are a manually operated calculator created by John Napier in 1612. This calculator is based on Lattice Multiplication and helps math learners with multiplying large numbers by a single digit number.  Math learners! Start identifying multiplication patterns by making your own set of Napier’s Bones! Materials: Napier’s Bones Paper Template: https://tinyurl.com/rh5xdajt Writing utensil (pencil or pen) Popsicle sticks

New audience. Old artifacts.

If you are a fan of museums, then you have seen something like this object before… probably dozens of times.  This impressive artifact is a nocturnal from La Belle and it can be used to tell time at night by the positions of the stars. As historic artifacts and symbols of exploration and discovery, navigation tools like this one spark

Webinar: Making the Most of Math Connections at your Museum or Historical Site

Elizabeth Lay, Claire Steffen and I had the opportunity to present a webinar through the Texas Historical Commission today.  We discussed ways that museums can  enhance visitor experiences with math, showed a variety of examples of math activities at museum locations and talked about our process in developing connected activities. Our Presentation Slides are here The Handout  Recording Hosted by

Take and Make: Proof without Words Sum of Odd Numbers – Freese Transformation

This Geometric Transformation  shows how the sum of the first 6 consecutive odd numbers is the square of 6, or 36.  It’s the classic “proof without words”.  Freese’s Transformation also shows this relationship, but his “squares” have sides sqrt 1, sqrt 3, sqrt 5, and so on. Freese Corel File, Adobe Illustrator File, Jpg printable

Take and Make: Experimental Mathematics Cucumber Edition

Here’s a fun one!  Inspired by a conversation with Chris Daniels of Public Math. He said roll paper around a cylinder and cut on an angle to get an ellipse and produce a sine wave.  So we did!  And you can too.  Then you can make a roller from ellipses, reflect your sine curve and roll the elliptical roller along

Awesome Math Making Ideas from Other People – Napiers Bones

Here’s an excerpt of a twitter conversation.  Day before yesterday Aida wrote to get access to some of our files and ideas.  Yesterday she made this amazing version of Napiers Bones that is in the National Archeological Museum in Madrid.  Today I’m inspired by her project and want to know more about this version and I want to see that

Take and Make: Pythagorean Puzzles are a hit in Middle School

Lauren Siegel1 Comment

These two Pythagorean Theorem Puzzles were a hit with Paola Garcia’s middle school students.   Paola mentioned that some students who are not as facile with pen and paper exercises excelled with the wooden puzzles and that overall everyone enjoyed them. Laser cutting files are posted here.   These do not have the solutions etched into the board