Pyramid Piles

On a blue surface are a triangle shaped and a rectangle shaped yellow flat base, on which sits piles of orange balls.
A blue exhibit table, with a yellow, white and purple information panel on top, sits in front of a green and a blue wall. On the table are a triangle shaped and a rectangle shaped yellow flat base, on which sits piles of orange balls.

How it works

Build a triangle-based pyramid using all six pieces of joined balls. Now build a rectangle-based pyramid using the same six pieces.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

How do the balls fit together differently in each type of pyramid?

Background

Scientists have been studying how to fit the largest number of balls or spheres into the smallest space for almost 400 years.

Finding the science in your world

In Nature, there are many examples where identical shapes are stacked efficiently, such as honeycomb with hexagonal or six-sided cells.