Turning 2D Drawings into 3D Models

An exciting new project for Geometry students this year was to create 3D models from two-dimensional drawings using only surface area and volume measurements. The exercise helped make mathematic equations visual for the students and resulted in a range of models from trains to elephants.

Says Geometry teacher Alex Chen: "The students had to take careful calculations, and then learn how to apply those correctly to construct their real life 3D representation of their drawings."

Students first drew a “mathematical net” (a pattern that is cut out of construction paper and folded to make a 3D model). The students were not allowed to use tape to keep their projects together. Instead they had to design flaps on their mathematical nets that, when glued, would hold the models together.

The project demonstrated one of the hallmarks of proper math—an attention to detail. Multiple students learned that the more precise and careful they were with the equations the easier the model was to assemble.

"The hardest part of the project for me wasn't creating all the equations," says Peter C., who designed and assembled a train engine. "It was organizing and keeping track of all the equations and applying them without error."

See below for more of the finished projects.