Return to Headlines

Cedarbrook Students Learn Animal Conservation Through “The Polygonimal Project”

polygonimals(December 14, 2023) Seventh graders in Omar Rose’s class delved into the world of animals and conservation through the use of art, math, and research in their recent “Polygonimal Project.” A polygonimal is a hybrid of the words "polygon" and "animal." 

Students began by creating an outline of the animal they planned to use for their project. The only criteria was that the animal had to be real and not extinct. They chose a high resolution image of the side profile of their animal and used GoogleDrawing to create a silhouette using the polyline tool. They were instructed to create variations by highlighting defining features of the animal, such as the head, body segments, or tail. 

To create the polygonimal, students utilized the silhouette they created in the first task to identify the vertices, or corners, of their silhouette and connected them to form a line segment. They repeated this step until all vertices were connected and formed a closed shape, ideally a triangle.  

Students used their research skills to learn more about their animals. They used books, articles, and websites to gather information on the animals, their endangered status, human impact on their environments, and suggested actions to protect their ecosystems, and presented their findings to the class.

If their animal fell on the endangered list, students included actions that could be taken to reduce the impact on the animal's environment on a local and global scale in their presentation. If their animal was not endangered, students showed their animal's ecosystem and explained where it fell in the food chain. Students then hypothesized what would happen if the animal were no longer a part of its ecosystem.

For the math portion of the project, students used various mathematical formulas to calculate the area of each of the polygons in their polygonimal and found the total surface area. Students used a printout of their animal and numbered each polygon. Each polygon was recorded on a calculations sheet, where dimensions and results were written and turned in. 

As an extension, students used their creative skills to make an abstract art piece where polygons were breaking apart to symbolize that the animal is disappearing. If the animal was not endangered, students created a wooden diorama scene depicting their animal in its natural habitat.