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How to work with Shapes: Part 1

We all know our basic shapes, like squares, circles and triangles. However, scientists are still discovering new shapes, and there are other unusual shapes you may not know have names!

In 2018, a group of scientists modelled a new shape called the scutoid. Epithelial cells form protective layers in our bodies, for example around organs and in our skin. To do this they must pack together closely so there are no gaps between them.  Where there is a need for curved layers, 3D shapes such as cuboids leave gaps. As we, and our organs are not completely flat – there must be a different shape to allow this to happen. Scientists named this shape the scutoid, after a part of the beetle’s thorax, which looks similar to it.

You will definitely have seen a squircle. It is a cross between a circle and a square. Basically, they are squares with round edges.

Or what about a Reuleaux triangle?  They look just like triangles, apart from having curved sides. These shapes are used to make wheels and pencils – as they provide a better grip!

Our “How to work with…” guide this week is all about shapes. If you need to know what a parallelogram or trapezium is, or how to tell the difference between an isosceles and scalene triangle – this is the guide for you. It describes the properties of regular 2D shapes, including lines of symmetry and rotational symmetry. There are some questions to try, and answers are included so you can check your understanding.

Click on the picture below to see the guide.


Come back and check our blog page for more resources to help you improve your understanding of different topics in various subjects. New Maths and Science guides will be coming soon.

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