Before this project, I thought I liked math. After this project… 

I mean, I still like math, but this project was one tough cookie 🍪 🍪 🍪

Anyways… did you know that a cuboid was a thing? Apparently it is (and somehow my 6 year old brother knew this before me.)

Hello there peoples of the planet, and welcome to my latest adventure in the strange world of Scimatics 8…

As you should know, my class is in the final quarter of grade 8, and we’re counting down the days till summer. We’ve just completed a project called, “The Ultimate Design Challenge” (which is exactly what it sounds like.)

For this project, we learned about different kinds of 3D shapes and how to calculate their surface area and volume. Also, we even included a extra special aspect… 3D design!

Anyways, we were tasked to design an object in a program called “Tinkercad” that included 3D shapes within it. This object had to be optimized for either maximum surface area or maximum volume. We then had to calculate it’s total surface area and volume before finally creating a slideshow to present it to our class.

We had the option to work alone or in partners for this project, and I decided to work alongside my friends, Sara and Ariane.

Be sure to check out their blogs as well!

In the end, we completed this project and I’m proud of it (even though I certainly struggled at some points.)

This project flew by rather fast, but it did teach me a bunch of things. Our first milestone was to actually pick out the object we wanted to create. My group chose to make a “geometric chess set.”


We soon discovered that it was too difficult to make them look the way we wanted, and we resorted to making the designs more simple.

Also, we originally wanted to create a chess set that is optimized for volume and a chess board optimized for surface area. Yet again, as time continued on, we discovered that our hypothesis was wrong, and our chess board had a higher volume.

Anyways, I’m still super proud of our designs, and how they turned out!

Here’s mine (you’ll have to check out my partners’ blogs for theirs *wink*):


I also had to calculate the math! Here’s ALL of my math formulas and calculations…

And here’s our presentation… (just in case you didn’t watch it at the beginning)

Unfortunately, my 3D objects weren’t printed, so I can’t actually show you them. Looking back on all of my designs, I’m very proud of them all!

Applying and Innovating:

Utilizing this competency basically means that I used my time efficiently and worked well with my peers. I believe I’ve accomplished this competency… although I can always improve.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I’ve faced a lot of problems involving time managements. Despite having gotten better since then, I still have my struggles.

However… yet again, I feel that I overestimated my abilities by trying to create more than one object.

Yes yes, I am very guilty of this lol.

Looking back, I felt that (especially during the math portion), I had a hard time trying to calculate all the required elements. Since I had chosen to do more than one object, I found it draining to calculate ALL of the shapes.

I undoubtedly made it a long process through some procrastination and maintaining such a dreadful attitude towards it. Although, as I started to get the hang of it and moved past my dread, this step soon became less of a hassle.

Also, since this was a group project, I felt way more comfortable working alongside others. After the DI project, I’ve had a more positive feeling towards group work, and I feel that I have more confidence in myself than before.

In this project especially, I continued to grow my relationships with my peers and learn how to work around others.

Despite setbacks, I managed to complete this project with others, and I’m somewhat proud of my work! (Also our chess set is pretty rad, not gonna lie *wink*)

Reasoning and Analyzing:

I definitely believe I’ve accomplished this competency. This competency includes utilizing Tinkercad to create a 3D object that uses at least 10 basic shapes, and also is optimized for either surface area or volume.

At the beginning, Tinkercad was a complete mystery to me. In the past (a free Microsoft computer course that is finally paying off), I have created 3D shapes/characters using various computer programs. However, I’ve never used Tinkercad before.

This program was pretty difficult to use at first, but once I followed some tutorials and created some absolute garbage, I got the hang of it.

Here’s an example of some garbage:

Like… what is this? I honestly don’t really know lol.

Despite some trial and error, I believe I’ve extended this area, since I used more complex 3D shapes in my design (such as a cone, a sphere, and a cross). Although these proved to be more difficult in later steps, I believe I’ve learned a lot from using these shapes.

I’ve learned how I can use math in real life situations, such as measuring my chess board to make sure it can be divided into equal black and white squares. Printing was another hassle that required some math and supports to ensure it works out (although my pieces were never printed 😔)

However, despite this, I can always improve. I don’t really think my chess pieces/board really utilize surface area and volume. Even my hypothesis for my chess board was incorrect in the end.

Looking back, I’m quite proud of how I used this competency to create my 3D object!

Communicating and Representing:

This competency requires that I calculate the surface area, volume, and compared ratio of my 3D object. It also means that I’ve explained these details in my final presentation to the class. In the end, even though I struggled at times, I believe that I’ve accomplished this competency.

When we started this portion of the project, I’ll admit that I was completely lost. Although I’d definitely learned about this before (and geometry is my jam lol), I somehow got confused along the way.

However, despite this, I convinced myself to work harder and reteach myself the math. This wasn’t exactly easy at the beginning, but as I completed more of my 3D shapes, I began to really understand.

I even managed to complete the math for my more complex shapes, and finish it with pride and relief.

BUT- as always, I have room for improvement… (especially in the presentation stage)

I’ve always disliked presenting my work, and I’d rather stick to the sidelines when it comes to public speaking. Even though I’ve definitely improved overtime, I still dread having to get up and show my work.

I’m pretty proud of how I presented during this project, but I feel that I spoke too fast and rambled a lot. The presentation was VERY long in the end, and it took forever!

Next time, I’ll be sure to NOT ramble and be more concise!

In the end, I’m proud of how I represented this competency through my project!

Through this project, I’ve learned many things about the mystical world of 3D design and traversed through an endless list of formulas. I’ve even confronted my fear through battling against the dreaded thing called “Public Speaking”.

Now, it is time to conclude with the driving question: “How can we design an object to optimize its shape?”

*deeply breaths in*

Well, many important “real life” objects are optimized by their shape, volume, and surface area.

As I learned from my classmate’s presentations, important vehicles/tools like spaceships require different shapes to run properly. For example, there must be tons of volume for enough fuel for the rocket, and it definitely needs to fly aerodynamically to pass through earth’s atmosphere.

Also, living creatures like barnacles need a large volume to collect water in order to survive low tide (something I learned during our nature walk a couple weeks ago.)

In conclusion, I’ve discovered and learned a lot from this project, and I’m hyped up for the next one. Since I definitely have magical abilities (it’s not like I can see the Basecamp section… nOpE), I foresee some cells, diseases, and comics in the future.

Anyways… Stay tuned for that, and I’ll reflect with y’all later!