A year’s worth of Family Math

We had a fun Zome project this afternoon:

With that project, we’ve hit Family Math 365 – a year’s worth of Family Math! We’ve come a long way since Family Math 1:


One of the most powerful influences for me along the way was this Numberphile interview with Ed Frenkel from about 2 years ago:


Actually quite a lot of what Frenkel said in that piece struck me, but especially his call for mathematicians to go out an show the world how beautiful math is. I probably don’t quite fit into Frenkel’s “professional mathematician” group, but I took up the call anyway.

I was thinking back to Frenkel’s video after we finished building out little Zome shapes today. The shapes aren’t just pretty, they can be used to show some amazing math. Really advanced stuff, actually – the idea that there’s no general solution for a 5th degree equation, for example, comes from looking at a group isomorphic to the symmetry group of the Dodecahedron. That’s probably not an idea for kids, though.

After re-watching Frenkel’s video today I decided to make our 365th Family Math project an interview with the boys rather than one of our normal math discussions. I was curious what they thought of the shapes and what math ideas they learned, or thought could be learned from these shapes.

They had some nice ideas. Listening to them makes me wish there was a way to share these fun shapes and some of the math ideas that went into building them with more kids.

Anyway, here’s what the boys had to say:



Can’t wait for the next 365 projects!