Circular pave-stones backyard
A packing problem
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Classroom materials,
motivating pupils for math and science


World of Work

Becoming a(n)...
Designer/architect of exterior places
World of Work Dimensions

Context
Optimization problem which involve arranging objects as densely as possible.

Role
Student are asked to empathize with the role of architect/ designer of exterior places.

Activity
Students investigate ways to pave a backyard with circular pave-stones. The aim is to minimize the empty space between the stones.

Product
Reflextion on the practical value of the activity.
Abstract
To arrange objects in a way that leaves the minimum possible empty space between them is a skill needed in everyday life as well as in various professions. Professional tasks are for example positioning containers in a storehouse, arranging pave-stones in a pavement, packaging luggage in planes etcetera. In this activity students use coins as a model to investigate ways to pave a backyard with circular pave-stones. The aim is to minimize the empty space between the stones. Packing problems are a class of optimization problems in mathematics which involve attempting to pack objects together inside a given area or space, as densely as possible. The aim is to find the configuration with the maximal density.



Documents

Copyright/Creative Commons
Mascil partner: EL  

Materials are published under the
CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

Inquiry Learning

Inquiry Learning Dimensions

- Exploring situations
- Planning Investigations
- Experimenting systematically
- Interpreting and evaluating
- Communicating results

Discipline
- Mathematics
- Biology
- Physics
- Chemistry
- Engineering


Target group
- Primary Education
- Lower Secondary Education
- Upper Secondary Education

Age range
11-18

Duration
100 min.