“I am Sesheta, the Goddess of Construction and Civil Engineering.””A GGGGoddess, I’ve never met a GGGGoddess before.”
“It’s alright Myrtle, we don’t bite,” Sesheta thought for a moment. “Well some of us do, but I don’t. I am here to build the pyramids and I need your help.”
“I wish I could help but all I can do is draw” Myrtle said.
“Drawing is a very important job, Myrtle. Can you draw squares and triangles?”
Myrtle nodded.
“Then you can help build the Pyramids by drawing the designs in the sand.”
Myrtle quivered with excitement. Sesheta explained how to mark out a square and the triangular sides of the Pyramid and Myrtle worked hard for the rest of the day. That evening Sesheta said goodbye. Myrtle trundled across the sand towards the flashing lights of the time machine.
Polygons and Polyhedra
The activities focus on regular polygons – shapes in which all sides and angles are equal, and polyhedra – threedimensional shapes, the faces of which are polygons. These activities are suitable for introducing procedures, using variables as inputs and the ‘top down’ approach to programming (breaking a large task into several smaller, more manageable tasks).
Draw the plans for the Pyramid
It will be useful if you can make a model of a pyramid.
Program the Turtle to draw an equilateral triangle and a square to represent the construction plan. Before writing the program, the children should examine the model. They should discuss the shapes needed and their relative sizes.
Some children may be ready to write the program using procedures. Others will prefer to use direct commands. If this is the case, encourage them to record the commands. It will help gain an overall understanding of what they are telling the Turtle to do.
Children who are ready to write their instructions in programs will be able to save them on disk. Where appropriate the Logo procedural approach to geometry can be used. This method creates shapes by description rather than algebraic formula or obscure drawing techniques. For example, SQUARE indicates that a square has four equal sides and four angles of 90 degrees.
These activities may be attempted by young children who have little or no formal understanding of measuring in degrees. Seymour Papert cites examples of children who regarded angular inputs as codes which determined how much the Turtle turned.
