Here’s a nice summer-days math project …
I just happened to be looking at the NM Highway signs page online a couple of days ago when I saw this nice little list of signs, just below:
I couldn’t help but notice that there are quite a few recognizable geometric figures on this page, and I thought, “This would be a cool thing to show to kids who either have studied, or are studying geometry.”
My suggestion: Show this to your children and ask them how many geometric figures they can recognize.
A partial list of shapes is listed below. You may want to use it to prompt your kiddos as they try to find the shapes.
You might give them a set of goals to shoot for, like this:
1 – 3 shapes noticed: “Road Scout”
4 – 6: “Highway Hawk”
7 – 9: “Eagle Eye”
10+: “Road Warrior”
GEOMETRIC OBJECTS TO FIND —
All four-sided signs: quadrilateral / parallelogram / rhombus (diamond)
Five-Sided Signs: non-regular pentagons
Think Black Line Bordering Signs: concept of perimeter
Crossroads: perpendicular lines
Signal Ahead: rectangle / circles (ovals?) / space between rectangle and circles
Two-Way Traffic: ray / parallel but opposite-directed rays
Right Lane Ends: skinny rectangle, perhaps (object on the left) / adjacent segments (object on right side)
Pedestrian Crossing: parallel segments or lines
Divided Highway: parabola (or close to it) in the curved part of the barrier object
Low Bridge: line (since it has arrows on both ends)
Hill: right triangle, with its two legs and hypotenuse. / Also this diagram shouts out the concept of “slope” as it shows how slope that the truck is descending is composed of rise and run.
Did I miss anything? You tell me, by writing a comment to this post.
FINAL NOTE: Students might find it fun to create geometry problems based on the shapes they find. For example, in Signal Ahead, a problem could be: If the dimensions of the rectangle are 20 x 8, and if the radius of the circles is 2, what is the area of the region between the rectangle and the three circles? Have them give the project to you, or to one another, and then they can “grade” the answers.