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Trigonometry and geometry students at Evanston Township High School participated in the annual ETHS Inflatables Exhibition on May 23, using their mathematical skills to design large, complex projects. Students construct giant inflatable structures using plastic table cloth, tape, and a lot of problem solving, collaboration, and creativity.

Standing inside the giant inflatable structure that they constructed with plastic and tape, (from left) ETHS freshmen Jalen Holloway, Jesse Heuer, Greta Eanes, and Nico Anon explain their math project to an evaluator, ETHS World Languages Department Chair Rachel Gressel.

ETHS students explore the connections between math, engineering, art and construction, while working collaboratively in small groups. Students have one week to conceive, design, build, and exhibit a giant inflatable structure as instructed by ETHS teacher Zachary Herrmann, who organizes the exhibit. Students put their math concepts and skills to the test as they plan dimensions, devise flat patterns and use their materials strategically.

“This year a new element has been introduced into the project. Rather than creating a poster, students must create a website with multimedia content and share their work with the world,” Mr. Herrmann said.

More information about the Inflatables Exhibition is available online: https://sites.google.com/site/ethsherrmann/home/inflatables.