Polygon Palooza: Celebrating Geometry in Lower School

Apr 17, 2024 | All School, Blog, Have Fun, Lower School News

Last Thursday, the Lower School was abuzz with excitement as students from kindergarten to fifth grade came together for a day of learning, costumes, competitions, special guests, and fun! Polygon Palooza was a celebration of the depth of geometry learning happening each day within our Lower School. From interactive activities to insightful presentations by MVexperts, Polygon Palooza aimed to make math come alive and showcase its real-world applications while embracing the MV Mantra: HAVE FUN!

Lower School Academic Resource Coordinator, Alix Jayne shared, the vision behind Polygon Palooza was to highlight the importance of geometry education while fostering a sense of excitement and joy for learning. β€œWith every grade level either currently engaged in a geometry unit or having just completed one, it was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the students’ achievements and immerse them in a day of synchronous learning.”

One of the primary goals of Polygon Palooza was to demonstrate how geometry skills are not just theoretical concepts but are also highly applicable in various professions. To achieve this, we invited parents who utilize geometry in their careers to share their expertise with the students. Every grade level got to hear from these parent experts and how they use geometry skills in their professions, bridging the gap between classroom learning and the real world.

In Kindergarten, parent expert Charles Rossignol, a Design and Construction Leader for Research and Education at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, demonstrated how geometry is integral to his work in the lab. He showed students how there are solid shapes all throughout the lab and their equipment and how those shapes work together to help them study lasers.

In Grade 2, parent expert Ali Brainerd, an Interior Decorator, showcased her past work and allowed students to explore tile designs, fabric samples, and room layouts. Students had the opportunity to unleash their creativity by designing their own room layouts, adding a practical dimension to their geometry learning.

In Grade 3, parent experts Chris Soltis, who practices woodworking as a hobby, and Ambika Burda, Vice President of Development at Cousins Properties, engaged students in hands-on activities. Using toothpicks and gummy bears, students built shapes while learning about angles and structural integrityβ€”a fun way to reinforce geometry principles.

Meanwhile, in Grade 5, students participated in a Water Relay Race that challenged them to apply their knowledge of volume. Teams had to transport water using different items and determine which item could carry the most liquid volume. It was a dynamic way for students to experiment with volume concepts while enjoying some friendly competition.

One of the highlights of Polygon Palooza was the All School Assembly, which featured a Grade level costume parade and interactive games like “Are You Smarter than Mrs. Lundstrom?”β€”a formal competition designed to test students’ geometry knowledge.

The culmination of the event was the Geometry Jeopardy challenges, where students from K-2 and grades 3-5 competed in a battle of geometric wits. The final jeopardy round added an extra layer of excitement and showcased the students’ mastery of geometry concepts.

Polygon Palooza was not only a day of celebration but also a testament to the importance of making math fun and engaging for students. By showcasing the real-world applications of geometry and incorporating hands-on activities, the event inspired a love for learning and empowered students to see the relevance of mathematics in their everyday lives. As we continue our journey of academic excellence and impact, events like Polygon Palooza remind us that learning is not just about mastering concepts but also about discovering their practical significance in the world around us.