Students learn about geometry by constructing models of 3D shapes. This is done with the aid of Polydron model sets. In particular they look at regular polygons (2D shapes with equal length sides) and create 3D shapes with these. Students ‘discover’ Euler’s formula relating the number of edges, faces and vertices (corners) of 3D shapes.
They examine models of the only five 3D shapes which can be made from just one type of regular polygon. These are called the Platonic Solids, one example is the cube as it is made entirely of squares. Students experiment with making models of these ﬁve shapes using straws and pipe cleaners. This requires teamwork and problem solving. Archimedean solids, 3D shapes made from two types of regular polygon, can also be created with the Polydron set. Eg. the football and the carbon molecule called the Buckyball.