Prism People

'Make a robot entirely of prisms and explore their properties at the same time' 

Do you know what a prism is? You will after this activity! Make a robot entirely out of different prisms. You must have at least one cuboid, one triangular prism, one cylinder and one hexagonal based prism! Of course there is nothing to stop you adding other different prisms to get some bonus points. Actually having to make the prisms should really help with understanding the fundamental properties of prisms. It should also help with thinking about the surface area of prisms by relating back to the nets required to make them. Once the robots are built and the winners are declared, there are some testing questions on the worksheet to help formalise the idea.


The task is explained on this  Prism People task sheet. The second part of the activity is the  Prism nets and surface area worksheet. There are some  Prism People Teacher Notes as well.

Some Images

Here are some pictures and video of the activity in action.

Equipment & Material

This is obviously open to adaptation. I give students a roll of tape and a piece of A2 card per group. I then set students the challenge to use as much of the card as possible. It may pay to have some scissors handy as well.


The following gives a quick overview of the activity.

  • Prepare the resources needed, as outlined above.
  • Students are in groups and are given the task outline.
  • Show students the photo and video to help give them some ideas.
  • Keep a close watch on time!
  • Invite someone in to judge the finished robots.
  • In the next lesson, follow up with the Prism nets and surface areas task.
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