Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Marble Sorter

Marble Sorter

I take photos all the time in my engineering classes. I hang them up on the wall, post them to our school website, and have my students use them in their projects. To me, a photo is an excellent documentation of work done. For example, the photos below of initials carved by a CNC mill prove to me that these two students successfully applied mathematical knowledge of Cartesian coordinates, engineering knowledge of G&M Codes (the programming language used to communicate with a CNC mill), and technical knowledge of how to operate the CNC Mill machinery, to produce the final product.

Or take this photo of a robotic arm that has just successfully built a pyramid out of wax blocks. It shows me that a student has mastered the skills of how to control the robotic arm, how to record positions, and how to program the arm to perform that task. Note that I do observe the student running the program before the photo is taken, so it can’t be staged!

Robotic Arm with Pyramid

Robotic Arm with Pyramid

Now, I am less accustomed to taking and using photos in my math classes. But I would like to move more in that direction. I’d like to use photos in math class on as regular a basis as I do for engineering, plus be able to hang those photos up and celebrate my students’ work. I took photos this year of our class’s huge Sierpinski Triangle Print, and of some 3-dimensional polyhedra that my geometry students built. What else can I take pictures of? How else can I use photographs (or even videos) in my math class, not to introduce a lesson but as part of the projects that we do?


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Filed under engineering, math, teaching

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