Saw a fascinating problem and request from Matt Enlow when I was on the road on Thursday:
Everyone always talks about thinking through problem carefully – here’s a great problem and a great opportunity to give some examples of that kind of deep thinking.
Give him some feedback!
Saw this tweet from Dave Richeson last week which basically “had me at hello”:
here’s the video in cast the twitter link doesn’t work:
We’ve done a few bubble projects in the past, so the boys were already familiar with the basic concept:
Zometool and Minimal Surfaces
Trying out 4 dimensional bubbles
More Zome Bubbles
Anyway, I ran out to home depot and got some wire and we made some knots. I had each of the boys make a trefoil knot and then make a random knot of their own choosing. In retrospect I wish I’d spent maybe just 5 minutes explaining some of the ideas in Richeson’s blog post – oh well, the excitement got the better of me 🙂
Here’s my older son playing with his trefoil knot and making a Mobius strip bubble. I love the “hey, I actually think I got it” moment:
Here’s him playing with the knot me made – in retrospect I’d argue for a knot that was slightly less complicated:
Next up was my younger son. First up was the trefoil knot and we got another great moment “I think this might be a Mobius strip” !!
Finally we made his own knot and explored. Again, I’d probably ask for a less complicated knot if I was doing this again:
So, that so much to Dave Richeson for posting his old project – this is an incredible project, and an especially great one for kids. The appearance of the Mobius strip is really quite an amazing little math miracle!