This week’s activity is all about making and creating. Polyominoes it turns out make great jigsaw pieces. Ask anyone who got hooked on Tetris 20 or 30 years ago.
The aim of this challenge is to think about how you make squares using polyomino pieces. We are just basing our designs on the smaller polyominoes (up to 4 square tetrominoes) but you can apply this to larger squares and larger polyominoes.
The challenge this week is split into 3 activities. The first is an introduction to polyominoes for those who are new to them, the second is looking at how to use the idea to make a jigsaw and the third is the competition where you can win your own Maths Explorer t-shirt featuring your puzzle.
Activity 1 – Tessellating Polyominoes
The challenge here is to see if you can put polyominoes together to tessellate a square. tessellating means to fill the square with out any pieces overlapping or leaving any spaces between the pieces. This can be done by trial and error but hopefully in your explorations, you’ll come up with a few techniques to make the job easier.
Activity 2 – Creating a jigsaw
Now you have some examples of tessellated squares, let’s try adding an image or designing a pattern on the square to make our tessellation more like a jigsaw.
Activity 3 – Enter the competition
You’ve made a jigsaw! Now try a larger square. To enter the competition, you’ll need your parents to photograph the square with your jigsaw picture and the polyomino lines drawn on and get your parents to email it to us. DON’T cut them out before sending them to us.
As always, please let us know about any moments of mathematical wonder you experience by leaving a comment below or tweeting.