Saturday, January 16, 2016

Zometools: a construction kit for kids, artists, scientists, and educators

Zometools are pretty much my favorite mathematical toy.  Well, toy is an understatement - it's a modeling kit that be can used to build complicated and beautiful 3-D structures, and is used by kids, artists, scientists, and educators.

  • I've done enrichment activities with elementary schoolers (and my friends and family) involving dipping Zometool structures in bubbles.  See this article for more information.  Here's my amazon affiliate link to their Zometool Crazy Bubbles Kit, but any zometools kit can be used with bubbles!
  • Zometool has a pdf of lesson plans for teaching with the Zome system.  I haven't used any of them directly, but have certainly looked at them for inspiration!
  • Once in college, Manjul Bhargava used some Zometool models in our 400-level representation theory class. 
  • I've often used them when teaching platonic solids, although you'll need a kit with special green struts to make all five. 
  • I've spent lots of time playing with them myself!
The main drawback of Zometools is that they break easily, but they'll replace your broken parts for free, so it's hard to complain. 

I got started with the Creator 1 Constructor Kit (amazon affiliate link), but it does not have any of the green struts.  You can buy them separately (amazon affiliate link), or get the Kepler's Cosmo Kit (amazon affiliate link).

Me at the Children's Museum of Atlanta

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