Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shape Friends=Math Friends

A couple months ago, a friend's 5-year-old niece won McGraw-Hill's "What Math Means to Me" contest. Her artwork will be shown in upcoming McGraw-Hill My Math student materials (print and online) as well as in the Museum of Math in New York City.

Quite an accomplishment for a kindergarten student!

For the contest, students had to draw original works of art that told a story of what math meant to them along with a short narrative with the same theme. My young associate's winning piece (shown here) told the story of learning shapes in math and "equated" it with making friends at the same time. See the piece above and also check out the website below:

Shape Friends=Math Friends

Like the image of the Hand Turkey from our previous post, this student took something simple (triangles, rectangles, squares, etc.) and transformed those shapes into a story of friendship blossoming out of learning math. Many times it takes a child to find a way to communicate a complex idea in a simple way. However, I think we all can do this—and I think we all should do this. Look at the simple shapes of objects, which you use everyday for work. What ideas can be conveyed by using a pencil shape? What about the rectangular shapes of a computer monitor or laptop? Could you use any of the objects pertaining to your work to create a graphic that communicates your company's message or sells you ideas?

Not only did she draw a great picture, she also told a story. This part was given weight during final judging. Audiences connect more to your vision if presented with a story. Combine an image of your product with a short paragraph speaking about someone benefiting from using your product. Maybe you show a silhouette of your pencil used for drawing plans with a story about how the pencil helps to shape your ideas.

I challenge you to take time in your day to think with the freedom and creativity of a child. You'll be surprised at what you create.

1 comment:

Beth Wingate said...

Great suggestions - as always, Mike! We can take lessons from kids in many aspects of life - including graphics design!