Trying out 4 dimensional bubbles

At the end of the project with my younger son this morning he remembered that we’d see some of the 4 dimensional shapes we were looking at in our Zome Bubble project. He went on to wonder if we dipped our 4 dimensional shapes in the bubble solution would we get a 5 dimensional shape. Well – We had to try that!

First, though, we looked at what happened when you dipped a cube and tetrahedron in bubble solution:

Next we tried the 4 dimensional shapes – what happens when you dip the zome versions of the 5-cell and the Hypercube into the bubble solution?

Ahead of the dipping, my younger son had this thought:

“I think we are going to see a 5 dimensional shape”

Here’s what happened:

I’m really loving just playing around with the 4 dimensional shapes with the boys. Soon we’ll move on to looking at the 4d version of Patrick Honner’s Pi Day project – can’t wait for that!

Finally, here’s the project from this morning that led to my younger son wondering about bubbles:

Sharing 4d shapes with kids

Sharing 4d shapes with kids

Earlier in the week – on March 14th, in fact! – we were playing around with Patrick Honner’s Pi Day Project:

Here’s a link to that project:

Patrick Honner’s Pi Day Exercise

When we finished, my older son wondered what a similar exercise would look like in the 4th dimension:

I played with it a little, and the idea was a bit more difficult than I expected. Here’s what I was able to write down while my younger son was at a little enrichment math program he does on Monday evenings:

Patrick Honner’s Pi Day Exercise in 4d

We have also – thanks to a great video from Matt Parker – looked a bit a some fairly complicated 4 dimensional shapes before:

Using Matt Parker’s Platonic Solid Video with Kids

So, with that all as background, last night and this morning I spent some time with each of the kids looking a the “smallest” 4d platonic solid – the 5-cell. It is fascinating to hear kids describe the shape.

Here’s my older son:

and here’s my younger son:

I love that my younger son remembered that we’d seen these shapes in our soap bubble project:

Zometool and Minimal Surfaces

It even turned out that our friend Paula drew the 5-cell after seeing our project !!