Baking Beautifully

Source: Lernert & Sander X de Volkskrant

Type: Investigation

Theme: Life Skills

Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Learning Target: Students will create learn about algorithms and create artistic mathematical patterns by baking, cooking, or arranging food.


Students may work in groups of two or three for this project (food is to be shared together!). They will create artistic mathematical patterns by baking, cooking, or arranging food.

  1. Teacher provides an explanation of the importance of algorithms and how they compare to recipes.
  2. Demonstrate how primitive shapes can be sliced in various ways to produce interesting patterns and cross-sections. Use OpenSCAD code provided.
  3. Provide examples of how vegetables can be sliced similarly to produce mathematical patterns.
  4. Show photographs of examples of mathematical baking.
  5. Break into groups.
  6. Spend the final ten minutes having students brainstorm ideas together. They should return to the class and share snips of their ideas to inspire others.

What to Submit

  1. One Word document, Sway, or PowerPoint:
    1. Brainstorming (sketches and notes) for one dish. Artistic food may be baked, cooked, or arranged.
    2. Obtain a Peer Review before producing final recipe.
    3. List of ingredients
    4. Recipe
    5. Photographs (minimum of 3) of the final bake, salad, meal, or culinary presentation.


SCAD Code for 3D Cross-sections

//Uncomment the primitive prisms below to see how cross-sections are affected. Adjust the variables below to rotate and translate the slices.
//Rotate with values up to 90 (degrees)
rotation = 84.8;
//Translate with values up to 20
rotate([rotation,0,0])translate([0,0,translation-25])color([255,0,0,1]) cube([50,50,50],center=true);

//cylinder(h=20, r=10, center=true);

cylinder(h=15, r1=10, r2=0, center=true,$fn=100);

//sphere( r=10 ,$fn=100);

//rotate([0,0,45]) cylinder(20,20,00,center=true,$fn=4);

//rotate_extrude(convexity = 10, $fn = 100) translate([10, 0, 0]) circle(r = 5, $fn = 100);

//linear_extrude(height = 30, center = true, convexity = 10, twist = 720, $fn = 100) translate([2, 0, 0]) circle(r = 1);

rotate([rotation,0,0])translate([0,0,translation])color([1,.7,.7,.1]) cube([50,50,.01],center=true);
Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
  • I can attend to precision.
  • I can look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
  • Patterns
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity


Final Group Projects