Building Models to Transition from Dimension to Dimension

Robert McDermott
Bridges Donostia: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2007)
Pages 433–440


Physical models are valuable for conveying spatial concepts in geometry. In this paper, I discuss how to build 4 models which transition between spatial dimensions 0 to 1, 1 to 2, 2 to 3, and 3 to 4. Supplies for these models are bungee cord and PCV pipe and connectors. Another supply is a hollow plastic sphere made from two hemispheres. These supplies cost me less than $60. The tools used are a measuring tape, a jig saw, a circular saw, a sander, a drill and bits, a rasp and scissors. A teacher who is proficient with power tools is capable of safely producing the pieces for these models. Students under a teacher’s supervision are fully capable of assembling and moving these models. Students work together to expand their understanding of space by assembling and moving these models.