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Bardia! Mr. Li! Period 2! March 19, 2013!

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Project: Puzzling Shapes!

Tangrams are ancient Chinese puzzles. A tangram puzzle set consists of seven

pieces, as shown on the instruction sheet. The individual pieces can be arranged together to form various shapes. Although, the pieces that form each shape must touch, but not overlap. For Step 1, we were instructed to describe and write about what we noticed about the each respective shape and the relations to the others in the tangram. The two large right triangles together take up half of the whole square and have a set of 45-45-90 degree angles. The legs of the medium right triangle are congruent and each leg takes up half of the side of the square. The longer sides of the parallelogram are equal to the base of the small triangle and also half of the side of the square. The sides of the small square and the legs of the small right triangles are equal. For step 2, we were instructed to draw a larger scale replica of the tangram and make the shape with the least sides while using all the tangram pieces and also the shape with the most sides while using all the tangram pieces. In order to come up with the shape with the fewest sides, I decided the shape had to be compact. After a while of experimenting and learning more about the tangram, I realized the least sides was the original position, the square, because the triangle was impossible and no shape has only two sides, so it was the square, with only 4 sides. Next, I had to come up with the shape with the most sides, this was a bit easier, because all I had to do was make sure each individual shape was revealing as much as possible sides as it could. Unfortunately, there are

many more than one possibilities shape-wise. But, in regards to number of sides, only one answer remains: the icosikaitrigon, with 23 sides. For step 3, we were instructed to experiment with the tangram puzzle and see if we were able to use a certain number of individual shapes from the tangram and make specic shapes out of them. Here are my results: With only using two pieces, I was able to make a square, I was not able to make a rectangle that is not a square, I was able to make a parallelogram that is not a rectangle, and I was able to make a trapezoid. With using three pieces, I was able to make a square, I was not able to make a rectangle that is not a square, I was able to make a parallelogram that is not a rectangle, and I was able to make a trapezoid. With four pieces, I was able to make a square, I was able to make a rectangle that is not a square, I was able to make a parallelogram that is not a rectangle, and I was able to make a trapezoid. With ve pieces, I was not able to make a square, I was able to make a rectangle that is not a square, I was not able to make a parallelogram that is not a rectangle, and I was not able to make a trapezoid. With six pieces, I was not able to make a square, I was not able to make a rectangle that is not a square, I was not able to make a parallelogram that is not a rectangle, and I was not able to make a trapezoid. With all seven pieces, I was able to make a square, I was able to make a rectangle that is not a square, I was not able to make a parallelogram that is not a rectangle, and I was not able to make a trapezoid. For step 4, we were instructed to use the full tangram and create the form of the gure of the house on the instruction sheet. My strategy going in was basically trial and error, unfortunately, with this problem, it was a horrible strategy. After about an hour of trial and error, I still had no answer. Finally, I decided to get the proportions and measurements of the house and go from there. I quickly realized that

the base of the house is the same measure as the base of the triangle. Then, working from there I found the proportions and measurements of the sides of the base. After that, my work was much easier. With the proportions and measurements, using my trusty trial and error strategy, I found the answer within ve minutes. I had a wonderful Eureka! moment. For step 5, we were instructed to make three different interesting shapes of our own with the only guideline being including all seven shapes. Although this step was very vague, I enjoyed the freedom and explored my creativity, coming up with, as asked, three shapes. My rst shape I came up with I was just playing around with the original square, moved around the two big triangles, and Eureka!, a new shape! My second shape I came up with sort of looks like a Star Wars ghter plane. I made it by moving around the two large triangles again from the last shape and stopped when I liked the product and thought it was interesting. My third and nal shape I came up with looks like a NASA space rocket. I made this one by following the same Star Wars ghter plane idea and working with it nally ending up with a rocket.