I used the Beautiful Symmetry program for our library’s S.T.E.A.M. Explorers event this month and did sessions for homeschoolers and the public. Both went really well, and I wanted to share what I remixed! I always have a slideshow with my presentations because I’m such a visual learner and so are a lot of my regular kids who participate. I asked if anyone could give me their own definition of symmetry, which led us into talking about examples of symmetry in every day life, and about the different types of symmetry: reflection, rotation, glide reflection, and translation. We then looked at examples I made of patterns made out of colors and shapes, and demonstrated that if you know how to count, you can make a pattern. I demonstrated this partially by showing that there are patterns in math, like when we count upwards by ones or twos or evens or odds.
I printed several different grid papers (provided on the Beautiful Symmetry activity page), blank patterns, and dotted papers so participants could choose how they wanted to go about making their own pattern. Some chose to draw one completely from scratch with the dotted paper, others wanted to color in shapes to create patterns. I also showed everyone how they could make a tesselation pattern with the grid paper (I made a repeating cat tesselation), and challenged them to come up with their own animal to make a pattern of!
Our bonus activity was using LEGO bricks to make symmetrical designs and patterns, which was of course a big hit.