Science: Mathematics
polyhedral sections   (+2, -2)  [vote for, against]
way of teaching kids about maths

The relationship between parabolas, hyperbolas, circles and ellipses is easy to see once they are understood as conic sections.

I think the relationship between geometric shapes such as squares, rhomboids and trapezoids could be taught in a similar way to conic sections as cross sections of polyhedra (e.g. a pyramid).

All types of triangles (right angle, equilateral, isosceles, scalene) could be also be visualised as cross-sections of a single polyhedra (i.e. a triangular prism).

This could be used in educational videos or software.
-- xaviergisz, Oct 06 2007

Hmmm. I'm not entirely sure this would be easier - it depends on which features of the plane shapes you are trying to illustrate. Can you give a specific example?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2007

visualising shapes in this way is easier and more interesting for me because I think in 3d rather than 2d.

Also, shapes like trapezoids seem so... arbitrary. this puts shapes in some kind of context.
-- xaviergisz, Oct 06 2007

Hmmm. You mean "slice this dodecahedron this way and you get a pentagon" type of thing? Fair enough, but then you still have to learn about the properties of the plane shape, once you've found where it comes from.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2007

(+) Suddenly it all makes sense.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 06 2007

I'll agree to it only as a supplement to the current system. There's no harm in offering the same information spun different ways since children have so many different learning styles.
-- kevinthenerd, Jun 10 2008

random, halfbakery