Learn about the interiority of the octahedron: The students learn about the most-simple, perfect configuration within an octahedron. There are fourteen pieces, six smaller octahedra and eight tetrahedra. All fourteen pieces share a common center point.
Notice in our image of that octahedron, some of fourteen pieces have edges that have color, most often we’ve used red, white, blue and black. Notice each color creates a hexagonal plate. The white and red plates are most readily identified in the image on the right. The blue and dark green plates are a bit obscured. The taping of pieces is still a bit crude at this point in time. This is the first generation of the game.
The object of the game is to reconstruct the four plates as given when the pieces are all emptied onto the table. Sounds simple. It’s not!
The competition can be between as few as two and as many five. Four seems ideal. Reconstructing the octahedron with the four plates as seen for some will be intuitive. After doing it a few times, we’ve had people put it back together in just under a minute while others have tried and tried but not succeeded.
Use a three-minute timer with a verbal 15-second warning (just to keep the game moving) so with four students, each set of the competition takes a little more than 12 minutes. Winners then compete, and eventually we have a winner for the class, then a winner for the grade, and then a winner for that semester.
With extra sets on hand for those who get timed out, everybody eventually wins because now they have seen and felt the interiority of the octahedron and can readily apply it in other studies within the curriculum.
There are other games we’re developing with the octahedron and tetrahedron that are very similar but not quite as much fun. We’re working on it!
Every new game will be posted right here.