'Re-create this dynamic animation to discover the mathematics behind it' 

This is one of three activities, similar in nature, for exploring transformations. Mathematics has always been deeply dynamic and technology now allows us to explore mathematics through different dynamic scenarios. This activity is a great example of one such scenario. Without giving too much away, the aim of this activity is to watch the animation, figure out what mathematics is behind it and then re-create it! The structure is a beautifully simple bit of geometry made by combining and repeating some simple procedures. Once the animation is understood then it serves as an excellent tool for investigating and understanding how the mathematics behaves as certain parameters are changing.

Watch carefully what happens in the video! What changes? How does it change? What could be causing the change? How is the situation set up?


This activity requires the video embedded below, access to dynamic geometry software and the  Kaleidoscope worksheet that helps students understand the activity and offers some extension. Teachers can have a go themselves and learn a little more about this activity with these notes  Kaleidoscope. If students go on to make their own screencasts, the the following link may of use.  Jing - Free Screencasting software.

Please see the bottom of the page for links to some similar related activities.


Here is the kaleidoscope animation! (no sound)


The following is a brief outline of the activity

  • Watch the animation and discuss what is happening and why it might be happening. 
  • Using dynamic geometry, have a go at recreating the scenario.
  • Students finish recreating and testing their own scenarios and make their own screencasts.
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