# A Modeling Activity

## Analyzing Snowflakes Using Geometry

## Keywords:

Mathematical Modeling, Geometry## Abstract

The *Snowflakes Task* is a mathematical modeling task that explores the geometry of snowflakes. During this task, students categorize and analyze five purposefully selected snowflakes using geometric concepts such as symmetry and angles and use their knowledge of geometric attributes to create a mathematical model that could be used to analyze other snowflakes. By the end of the task, students will become familiar with different snowflakes shapes, further their understanding of geometric concepts, and describe the relationship between snowflakes and geometric attributes. The authors implemented the *Snowflakes Task* in two different settings: once with prospective teachers in a virtual setting and once with middle school students in person. In this paper, the authors share the task sequence, a summary of implementations, including adaptations made to support our implementation settings (virtual or in person), and student thinking revealed during data analysis.

## References

Aguilar Batista, J. J. (2017). Modeling through model-eliciting activities: A comparison among students at different performance levels [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. The University of Texas at Austin.

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Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP) & Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). (2016). Guidelines for Assessment & Instruction in Mathematical Modeling Education. COMAP & SIAM. https://www.comap.com/Free/GAIMME/

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Libbrecht, K. G. (n.d.). Snow Crystals. Retrieved from http://www.snowcrystals.com/

Mousoulides, N., Pittalis, M., Christou, C., & Sriraman, B. (2010). Tracing students’ modeling processes in school. In R. Lesh, P. L. Galbraith, C. Haines, & A. Huford (Eds.), Modeling students’ mathematical modeling competencies: ICTMA 13 (pp. 119-129). New York, NY: Springer US.

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) & the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). (2010). Common Core Standards for Mathematics. NGA Center & CCSSO. http://www.corestandards.org

The Math Learning Center. (2022a). Geoboard. Retrieved from https://www.mathlearningcenter.org/apps/geoboard

The Math Learning Center. (2022b). Pattern Shapes. Retrieved from https://apps.mathlearningcenter.org/pattern-shapes/

Virtu Software. (n.d.) Snowflake Maker. Retrieved from https://www.theproblemsite.com/games/snowflake-maker

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## Published

## How to Cite

*Ohio Journal of School Mathematics*,

*92*(1), 1–7. Retrieved from https://ohiomathjournal.org/index.php/OJSM/article/view/9109

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## License

Copyright (c) 2022 Megan Snyder, Melike Kara