/>

Geometry as jungle gym (photos)

San Francisco's Exploratorium is opening an exhibition where visitors learn about geometry with their hands and body.

Leslie_Katz.jpg
Leslie Katz
geometry1_2.jpg
1 of 6 Amy Snyder/Exploratorium

Space-Filling Blocks

Does geometry bring back stressful high school math memories? Geometry Playground, a new display opening Friday at San Francisco's Exploratorium, could help you rethink your associations with polygons and acute angles by moving geometry from the realm of proofs to a series of experiential exhibits that teach geometry through action.

Pictured is "Space-Filling Blocks," which requires visitors to rely on spatial reasoning, or "mental geometry," to stack a series of red blocks so there's no wasted space.

"Think of the tiles in your bathroom," the description reads. "Filling up space completely with almost no gaps in between is called tessellation. Experiment with what shapes do and don't tessellate and the orientation of the stacking required."

Geometry Playground includes more than 20 exhibits and specially commissioned artworks.

geometry2_2.jpg
2 of 6 Amy Snyder/Exploratorium

Stellated Rhombic Dodecahedrons

Kids play with "Stellated Rhombic Dodecahedrons," which are 12-sided, 3D shapes. Each of the 12 sides is a rhombus, or a diamond, which has been pulled, or stellated, into a point. Geometry Playground requires visitors to use their hands, and sometimes their entire bodies, to explore geometric concepts.
geometry3_2.jpg
3 of 6 Amy Snyder/Exploratorium

Climb a Stack of Stars

The blocks in "Climb a Stack of Stars" are also Stellated Rhombic Dodecahedrons, but scaled to a much larger size to allow for climbing and full-body exploration in a giant 3D space.
geometry4_2.jpg
4 of 6 Amy Snyder/Exploratorium

Shape Cube

Taking geometry off the page of textbooks, the Shape Tube involves crawling through twisting tubes made by rotating a single shape in different ways.

Running in conjunction with Geometry Playground will be Geometry in Motion, an eight-part film series that includes "Between the Folds," a documentary chronicling 10 artists and scientists who devote their time to modern origami. Geometric Threads, a workshop series, will also run in conjunction with the Geometry Playground.

geometry5_2.jpg
5 of 6 Amy Snyder/Exploratorium

Polyhedra

Created by Exploratorium artist-in-residence Stacy Speyer Large, these colorful shapes are constructed of metal and suspended within reach. The objects are meant to be handled and contemplated.

Geometry Playground stays in San Francisco through September and then travels to San Diego; St. Paul, Minn.; and other cities.

geometry6_2.jpg
6 of 6 Amy Snyder/Exploratorium

The Geometron

John Edmark's Geometron lets you make glowing symmetrical patterns in a video kaleidoscope.

More Galleries

Nintendo Switch: The 36 best games to play in 2021

More Galleries

Nintendo Switch: The 36 best games to play in 2021

37 Photos
Volkswagen's new T7 Multivan looks awesome

More Galleries

Volkswagen's new T7 Multivan looks awesome

10 Photos
New movies coming out in 2021: Netflix, Marvel and more

More Galleries

New movies coming out in 2021: Netflix, Marvel and more

65 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos
2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 blends wild tech, mild style

More Galleries

2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 blends wild tech, mild style

49 Photos
55 weird objects seen on Mars, explained

More Galleries

55 weird objects seen on Mars, explained

57 Photos
Ducati's Multistrada V4 S might be the best motorcycle you can buy

More Galleries

Ducati's Multistrada V4 S might be the best motorcycle you can buy

30 Photos