Home Schools Turning Math into Art, and Learning into Fun – St. Mary School...

Turning Math into Art, and Learning into Fun – St. Mary School in Los Gatos

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By Kathy Rosendin 

How can something that seems to be “black and white” turn into something fun? The answer: Quadratic Art! Instead of a regular lesson, St. Mary School students in 8th grade Algebra 1 were asked to create artistic designs using quadratic functions (parabolas), linear functions (lines), and other graphs, such as circles and sine waves. Their designs included a required number of parabolas and had to be drawn using an online graphing calculator. In addition to determining the equations of their graphs, students learned how to achieve shading by using domain restrictions and inequalities. Students shared their final product with classmates during a “gallery walk” facilitated by an app for distance learning. When asked to state their favorite part of the project, most students expressed how much they enjoyed watching their designs come together visually and the sense of accomplishment they felt in figuring out how to transfer their draft designs from paper to the graphing calculator. Quality education continues with distance learning!