There's an Area in There

A carpeted area in which there are four abstract rabbit shapes on the carpet.
A carpeted area in which there are four abstract rabbit shapes on the carpet. In the background is a fake stone wall with a blue, white and green information panel.

The area of an irregular shape can be calculated by measuring its component shapes.

How it works

Fit the tangram puzzle shapes together to work out which rabbit uses fewer puzzle pieces and takes up less area.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • Which rabbit is smaller than the others?
  • What shape are the puzzle pieces?

Background

When a shape is irregular (such as a tangram rabbit), you can measure its total area by adding up the areas of each simple shape that creates it. The rabbit that contains the fewest tangram pieces also takes up the smallest area.

Finding the science in your world

An Italian designer invented the tangram table, which consists of a range of traingular and square shaped tables that can be arranged together to create a space efficient series of configurations.