Taking a short break from algebraic theories, a group of middle school math students took time out at the end of the school year to create a giant dome.
Students in mathematics teacher Margaret Huntley’s Algebra 1 class built the impressive, huge geodesic dome in about half an hour, with assistance from other students who helped roll out newspaper beforehand in preparation.
The class dome construction project was not part of the regular curriculum. According to Huntley it was something she had done previously as a geometry teacher and now served as a “bit of mathematical fun at the end of the year.”
Using 65 sheets of newspaper and some masking tape, the students based their dome on the work of famed inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller, who pioneered the use of geodesic domes as houses.
“It was great to see the students all working together to create something so amazing out of pieces of newspaper. I think at the start they didn’t really believe it would work and seeing it take shape was great.”
Even though it wasn’t related to the algebra curriculum, Huntley elaborated that it helped students see and appreciate the beauty of math. “Seeing the reactions of my other classes as they walked in was pretty cool, too. The students took turns doing their review for finals in it. I like to think that it’s better studying math in a dome!” she added.