/Math students find the formula to make great art
Haliburton Highlands Secondary School student Courtney Semach created this image showing flowers. Photo submitted by Brianne Pockett

Math students find the formula to make great art

By Stephen Petrick

Math students at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School (HHSS) have found the formula to make great works of art.

Students in HHSS teacher Amy Klose’s advanced math functions course were recently given an interesting challenge: They were asked to use equations to create an image or animations in a program called Desmos. 

“The students’ level of engagement and interest in the task seems to have taken on a life of its own,” Klose wrote in an email. 

Haliburton Highlands Secondary School student Bella Smolen created this image of a pumping heart, using Desmos./ Photo submitted by Brianne Pockett

The program gives the students an electronic grid. They then need to write equations to guide the movements of lines they wish to create. The students were asked to use at least 25 equations to complete their artwork, however some students used more than 100 equations. One student created an animation of a beating heart. Others did landscape scenes or other interesting artworks, based on the use of circles and intersecting lines.

Students also had to write an explanation of the mathematics they used to create the piece. It’s not an easy task – the course is designed to prepare students for university math – but the students were up for the challenge.

“I am very impressed by their work,” Klose wrote. “This year’s crew far surpassed my expectations. They took it upon themselves to explore their passions and then use functions to bring their interests to life.”

She added that the students learned techniques on their own and shared their knowledge with classmates.

“This is complex, time-consuming and incredibly detailed work. This cohort of students has demonstrated a very high level of persistence, collaboration and creativity.”

Rainbow Gate is the creation of a Haliburton Highlands Secondary School student, who’s name was withheld. /Photo submitted by Brianne Pockett