Thirty-six Fences

Source: Robert Jones from Pixabay

Type: Investigation

Theme: Life Skills

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


Learning Target: Students will explore changing areas and patterns of numbers. Students can also explore the shapes formed by the fence panels and decompose those shapes into smaller shapes.


fence panelQuestion: What is the biggest enclosure area that can be made out of 36 panels of fence?

Project Parameters

  1. This is a group project (up to three students). Individual projects are OK.
  2. Find the area of your enclosure and the perimeter of the fencing. The fences panels are 10 feet (length) by 5 feet (high). High school students are required to determine the exact area of their enclosure. Others may estimate.
  3. To model your project you may use any of the following: grid paper, white paper, digital ink, snap-blocks, legos, dominoes, OpenSCAD, Desmos, or another system of modeling.
  4. Select one kind of farm animal to live in your enclosure (goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, alpacas, hedgehogs(!), etc.). Research how many animals can healthily live in the enclosure with the area you have established. Select one type of enclosure:
    1. Exercise Yard Area
    2. Pasture Area (for grazing)

What to Submit

One Word document, Sway, or PowerPoint. Please include:

  1. A drawing, sketch, model, or photo of your enclosure.
  2. One paragraph describing why you selected the geometric shape of your enclosure. Include the area and perimeter of your enclosure.
  3. One paragraph describing your farm animal and how many animals you will raise. Explain why it will be happy and heathy in the area available in the enclosure. Provide a reference (cite sources). What kind of fencing will you need?
  4. A picture of your farm animal.

OpenSCAD Code

The code below is not required for your project.

module createPanel() {
translate([0,0,2*bw])cube([bw,width,bl], center=true);
translate([0,0,height/2+bw/2])cube([bw,width,bl], center=true);
translate([0,0,height-bw])cube([bw,width,bl], center=true);
rotate([0,0,10])translate([1,10,0])createPanel(); //code for creating a second panel
color("green")translate([0,0,-.01])cube(size = [1000, 1000,.01], center = true);


Adapted from

Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
  • I can make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • I can use appropriate tools strategically.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity