Ball of Whacks

The “Ball of Whacks” is a rhombic triacontahedron with magnetic parts that disassemble into individual rhombic pyramids. It is unique among the Maker projects listed on this website because it is a pre-existing, pre-made object that was purchased for the purpose of the class. The Makers of this project originally wanted to create an object to introduce students to geometry, and help them conceptualize the idea that parts deconstructed from a whole can be put back together in a variety of different ways. Through their design process and inquiry, they discovered the “Ball of Whacks”, and decided to repurpose it as a mathematical manipulative through thoughtful problem solving tasks among different grade levels. The tool also invites students to use it in a creative, playful way. The Makers propose that, in the classroom, “teachers will not tell the children what to create, but rather let them explore the shapes on their own and create their own unique shapes.” Ultimately, the Makers used it as a tool to introduce students to angles, shape variation, and fractions through composition and decomposition.