Mandala Geometry Challenge

I challenged my thirteen year old daughter to recreate a Mandala with only a compass and straight edge. No measuring allowed.

In traditional terms, Mandalas are balanced and often radially symmetric works of art from the Buddhist and Hindu religions. Today, the term Mandala is used much more generally to represent circular balanced images. Mandala coloring books can be purchased, Mandalas can be created by hand and there are many images of Mandalas on the internet.

This activity combined art and math in a unique way. Since there were no instructions, lots of thinking was involved to figure out how to recreate the image.

First, the above image was selected from a mandala coloring book.

Then we set to work. I did this activity along side my daughter, and we each took a different path to arrive at the same image.

We both began by drawing a straight line and creating a perpendicular line near the center. Next, the compass was set to a small radius and a series of tick marks was created along one segment of the perpendicular lines. The tick marks were then used to create a series of concentric circles by setting the compass radius from the center and to each tick mark in turn.

The same compass settings were used to create concentric arcs with the arc centers located where the circle circumference crossed the perpendicular lines. Then the sketches were outlined.

.... and colored.

My finished mandala

My daughter's finished mandala


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