Math and Mandalas

Students in Valerie Greaud’s Geometry class created beautiful Mandalas to share with the George School community. They constructed a template within a circle using two types of constructions: segment bisection and angle bisection then created a design in one section of the circle. This design and its reverse were then copied onto the final version, which they decorated with creative color choices.

The purpose of this assignment was for students to practice construction techniques and to observe how line symmetry emerges from the copying process. Here are reflections from some of the students about what they learned and what they liked about their Mandalas:

  • Each bisection was reliant on each other to create the full picture.
  • I learned how to use a bisected angle on one side to go to the other side so you don’t have to do as much work.
  • I learned to always make sure my compass is planted while measuring so it does not slip.
  • Almost everything, even a squiggle, can turn out to look cool.
  • I discovered that, after completing a couple of patterns for the Mandala, the symmetry begins to appear.
  • Even though I am not artistic, learning more about and understanding symmetry helped me to create a beautiful design.
  • As much of a pain as it is to get things symmetrical, it’s very worth it. The final product turned out to be so beautiful.
  • I didn’t realize that we would be flipping our design for every other pie slice to make the mandala symmetrical so that was really cool to see.
  • I discovered that the less symmetrical you make your original design the more creative it looks when it is all put together.
  • Even though when you separate the pieces it does not look like they could have symmetry, you put them together and it can make something beautiful.
  • I like that I was able to produce something that I am proud of.


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