A Maths teacher recently asked me: “What shapes make up a soccer ball?”.
The traditional design of a soccer ball is based on a solid figure called a truncated icosahedron. From the image above, can you visualise how many black pentagons and white hexagons there is?
A different solid is shown above. It has 20 triangles, 12 pentagons, and 30 squares. What is its correct name? What are the advantages and disadvantages of constructing a soccer ball from this solid shape?
In the 2006 World Cup a new design consisting of 14 curved panels was introduced as shown below. Adidas claims that the new ball is more round, consistent and precise than the old design. Click here to follow the history of WC Soccer balls.
As a young Mathematics teacher in the 1980’s I valued an old copy of:
H.M. Cundy & A.P. Rollett, “Mathematical Models”
I would love to hear about your experiences with building polyhedra in the classroom!