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Mathematical Ideas in Curve Stitching and String Art

Workshop Spotlight | August 1, 2017

String figures have been and continue to be common tools for exploring concepts within the math classroom. In “Mathematical Ideas in Curve Stitching and String Art,” an MƒA mini-course held this past spring semester, MƒA teachers use curve stitching and string art to focus on ideas of prime numbers, greatest common divisors, graph theory, the complete graph, parabolas, cardioids, complex numbers, the Mandelbrot set, and more. Through different techniques, both new and old, large and small, teachers explore how string-based activities can be beautiful while also inspiring substantial discussions around mathematical topics.

This is one of the many sculpture-based mini-courses that mathematician George Hart has led at MƒA. The course is popular amongst MƒA teachers because of its hands-on structural aspects as well as its engaging math concepts. In addition, the mini-course explores topics that are relevant to all teachers – elementary through high school – and their students.
The M­ƒA office includes dedicated classrooms, which provide ample space for teachers to meet and participate in their own professional growth activities. We have one entire floor (soon to be two) of our office space reserved for teacher use, where we offer over 20 workshops and host hundreds of teachers each week.