Playing around with some Zometool Archimedean Solids

[fast write up this morning, sorry, had to get out the door about 30 min after we finished]

Last night I asked the kids what they’d like to do for our Family Math project today and the kids asked for a Zometool project. Flipping through Zome Geometry last night I found a neat section about Archimedean solids.

Despite one unfortunate goof up by me, playing around with these shapes made for a pretty fun project. I love that the Zometool set gives you a relatively easy way to hold shapes like these in your hand.

We started off talking about the definition of an Archimedean Solid and working through some of the question in the book:


With that introduction, we took out the Zometool set and tried to build a few just from the description of the faces. The first solid that we tried was the icosidodecahedron and the kids seemed to have a fun time building it and talking about it:


Next up was a rhombicoidodecahedron. Same thing here – fun to build and fun to talk about:


The next shape I asked them to try to build was a snub cube. This was a challenge. One factor contributing to the challenge is that this shape can’t be built using the Zome pieces. Whoops – sorry boys!

After this goof up by me, we returned to the two previous shapes to count the faces, edges, and verticies. Tured out to be a nice counting exercise and hopefully brought the project back to being fun after 10 minutes of trying to do something that was impossible 🙂



One thought on “Playing around with some Zometool Archimedean Solids

  1. I recently ordered the Polydron Frameworks Archimedean Solids Class Set (from Nasco), and tried to see if I could find all 13 of them, just starting from the definition. It was a fun project, and totally doable. The set makes it possible to build all of them simultaneously.

    I then ordered the Starter Set, to make it possible to also have the Platonic Solids, and to make the remaining pieces less of a hint as to what Archimedean Solids are missing. Anyway, while Zometool is awesome for its range and depth, I have found in years of classroom use that Polydron (or Jovo) make for a better intro to this particular topic.

    Alas, it’s pricy.

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