STEM: Ellipse Math Art

## Wednesday, September 14, 2016

### STEM: Ellipse Math Art

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This fun, low prep STEM activity will help kids enjoy math and art in a new way.

"I'm no good at math. I'm more of an artist." It always rubs me the wrong way when someone says this. There is no reason someone can't be good at both art and math. In fact art can be a great way to teach math. You can visually represent multiplication or use a physical model that represents calculus. Playing around with geometric shapes makes a great art project.  This project deals with ellipses, and would be a great supplement to your late elementary or middle school curriculum, but younger or older children would enjoy it too.

Materials:

• Cardstock
• Markers
• Ruler
• Push pin
• Rubber band

Begin by finding the mid-point of your drawing.  Then pick two points equidistant on either side and push the pins through the cardstock. These will be the foci of your ellipse.

Place the rubber band around the pins.Use the marker to gently stretch the rubber band around the pins. Draw the ellipse using the the rubber band as a guide.

Move the foci, and repeat,

When you've finished drawing various ellipses, use the markers to embellish your art work.

Once you have done a basic project, think about what other features of the ellipse you could change in order to produce a more interesting piece of art.  How could you represent a solar system? The differences that can be expressed through the ellipse amazing.  I hope your artistic learners will agree.

### STEM Activities for Kids

Christy McGuire is a former AP physics teacher, and current mother of 4. She and her children enjoy exploring science and math together. Head over to Thriving STEM to find more science, technology, engineering and math ideas to use with your kids.  Follow along on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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