Posts filed under: age

The Belgian Connection

Posted by Steve Lynett on June 22, 2013 | Posted under 3D puzzles, age, art, children, creativity, discovery, imagination, kids, polypuzzle

 

This report highlights the work of two Serbian students who were studying in Belgium.  Their task was to run a workshop with children from six to 15 years of age.  The teachers monitoring the workshop were extremely pleased with the result.

 

Tempus Project (part 1)

PolyPuzzle Workshop

Katrina Radic

The concept of making mathematics more interesting to children is a new way of looking at mathematics in general. I think it is important to show children that mathematics can be very creative and intriguing, thus the workshops were a big challenge and an interesting experience.

Through a geometric-based 3D puzzle game, named PolyPuzzle, in which kids could make various geometric forms – even little animals and toys – we succeeded in showing children that mathematics can be very creative and fun. The children reacted very well to the workshop – it was fascinating to see how children of different ages reacted differently to the puzzle. In the end, they all succeeded in making something of their own, thus bringing mathematics closer to them.

In the end, the workshop was, I think, a success – we brought mathematics closer to children and showed them that they are neither complicated nor hard – we have showed them the creativity and playfulness of mathematics, reflecting the fact that they really can be fun and interesting.

 

Tempus Project (part 2)

Milena Nicic

For our workshop, we have used PolyPuzzle – a 3D puzzle based on mathematics and geometry, with which kids could make different toys, like geometrical objects (spheres, tetrahedrons, icosahedrons, etc), and animals (bats, turtles, dinosaurs, frogs…).

Even though a bit complicated, it was interesting to see how kids dealt with the puzzle and learned, very fast, how to assemble it. It was fascinating how kids of different ages assembled the puzzles differently – in the end, all of them enjoyed the workshop and made a PolyPuzzle to take home.

I personally enjoyed working with the children and seeing them deal with mathematical objects while being creative and logic, at the same time having a lot of fun.

The kids playing with the PolyPuzzle were 6 to 15 years old – all of them found an aspect of the workshop to enjoy.

The workshop has shown everyone that mathematics could be very fun, and the fact that the kids could bring their creations home with them was very important for bringing mathematics closer to the kids.

The workshop very clearly reflects the creativity and playfulness of mathematics, which is very important in order for children to be more open to the subject. I very much liked that something as simple as a puzzle could make such a point and bring out the, very important, creative and logical thinking of children.

In the end, the workshop was a success, with many children making various objects and experimenting with the puzzle.

5 Top Reasons to Love PolyPuzzle

Posted by Steve Lynett on December 21, 2011 | Posted under 3D puzzles, age, art, children, creativity, dexterity, discovery, geometry, imagination, kids, NASA, paper puzzles, polypuzzle

Reason One:  Discover your inner creativity

The spirit of creativity is within all of us.  Just watch a child at playing with a cardboard box.  A small box can become a pilot’s helmet, or a safe place for prized objects.  A large box can become a cave or an automobile or a secret hiding place.  It’s not the box that’s creative: it’s the child with the help of a boundless imagination. There are no barriers and any object the child can find quickly takes on a life of its own.  As we age, we sometimes suppress our creativity.  PolyPuzzle was designed to unleash this creativity, allowing a collection of puzzle pieces to become whatever we want them to be.  Yes, it takes a little practice and a bit of patience.  But as the pieces go together, the creativity is sure to emerge. 

Reason Two: Develop the hands of a surgeon

One of the great things about PolyPuzzle is that it helps develop fine motor skills – the use of your hands and fingers to perform precise tasks.  You’re using the small muscles of the body when you pick up a pencil or a button.  It’s the opposite of using a hammer, although being able to use a hammer can come in very handy at times.  Strength, fine motor control and dexterity are all at work when working with PolyPuzzle.  Occupational therapists know the value of this kind of activity and encourage it.  So, if you ever need stitches or – heaven forbid – an operation, be sure to ask the surgeon if he or she has ever worked with PolyPuzzle.  It should be on your list of selection criteria.

Reason Three:  Learn to love geometry

Many of the objects possible with PolyPuzzle fall into the area of mathematics we call geometry.  Our world would be pretty flat without the vast array of shapes that come into play with globes, triangles and just about any three-dimensional shape.  Teachers find it helpful to teach geometry using PolyPuzzle.  Not only are the geometric shapes, or models, that emerge from flat, PolyPuzzle pieces fun to make, they are far more effective than any two-dimensional photograph or drawing. 

Reason Four:  You’re never too old

People often look at PolyPuzzle and see it as a game or a toy for kids.  Yet, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Two of our most enthusiastic puzzlers are retired.  One is a mathematician and the other is an accomplished architect.   Geologists model with PolyPuzzle to reproduce crystalline shapes.  And anyone can appreciate the appeal of a PolyPuzzle owl, Toucan or Penguin although, we have no information that tells us what zookeepers think.

 Reason Five: NASA thinks it’s fun

One of the most exciting missions currently underway at NASA is the Kepler Mission.  Named for the 17th Century astronomer Johannes Kepler, the mission’s primary objective is to look for and locate habitable planets. One of the neatest PolyPuzzle kits just happens to be the Kepler Star.  And, yes, we showed it to the folks at NASA.  Alan Gould, Co-I for the NASA Kepler Mission at the University of California and Edna DeVore, CO-I for the NASA Kepler Mission at the SETI Institute both thought it was pretty cool.  No one can say PolyPuzzle doesn’t have star power! http://kepler.nasa.gov/