Pentominoes
are flat shapes formed from five unit squares. Each square must touch another in the set along an edge, but not merely at a corner. For example, the shape in figure 1A is a pentomino, but the shape in 1B is not.

Pentominoes were created by a 22-year old graduate student at Harvard in 1954. However, it wasn't until around 1960 that the the "movement" generated a lot of excitement.

Not counting the mirror images (reflections) or the shapes created from rotations, there are exactly 12 shapes. These shapes are often named by the capital letter they appear to resemble (see figure 2).

One of the challenges our class has faced is to create a 6x10 rectangle using all 12 shapes. The problem is not finding ONE solution, but finding one of the 2,339 possible solutions which fill the rectangle exactly. Wish us luck!

Figure 1 

Figure 2

 

Home | About Us | Parent Newsletter | Learning Update | Chalk Talk | Contact Us