Title:
Learning puzzle of geometric shapes
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A learning puzzle for enhancing a user's knowledge of polygon angles and geometric shapes. The learning puzzle includes a frame and a set of shaped puzzle pieces, each puzzle piece of the set of shaped puzzle pieces being a polygon having straight edges and angular relationships at the intersection of the edges. The angles defining the angular relationships are recited on the puzzle pieces that are visible to a user upon assembly of the puzzle.



Inventors:
Burns, Bill (Bay Point, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/433688
Publication Date:
11/15/2007
Filing Date:
05/12/2006
Assignee:
Williams Sonoma, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/00
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dergosits & Noah LLP (San Francisco, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A learning puzzle for enhancing a user's knowledge of polygon angles and geometric shapes, said learning puzzle comprising a frame and a set of shaped puzzle pieces, each puzzle piece of said set of shaped puzzle pieces being a polygon having straight edges and angular relationships at the intersection of said edges, the angles defining said angular relationships being recited on said puzzle pieces that are visible to a user upon assembly of said puzzle.

2. The learning puzzle of claim 1 wherein said set of shaped puzzle pieces are comprised of subsets that remain adjacent to one another upon the assembly of said puzzle.

3. The learning puzzle of claim 2 wherein each of said puzzle pieces within a sub set is of the same color as the remaining puzzle pieces of said sub set and different from the color of puzzle pieces in other sub sets.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention is directed to a learning puzzle capable of enhancing a user's knowledge of angular relationships. Oftentimes, individuals, particularly the young, have a difficult time visualizing polygon angle sizes and how these angles interact with other polygon angles to provide larger geometric shapes. By employing the present invention, the relationship between polygons and their angular relationships is taught.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It has long been recognized that puzzles, particularly those directed toward children, can teach valuable information while, at the same time, making such learning fun as matching and joining puzzle pieces is carried out. Most people enjoy putting puzzles together while achieving a degree of satisfaction inherent in finding pieces to match to create the final assembled image.

Most puzzles have little or no learning component. Oftentimes, puzzles are, for example, created to present a landscape or have images of animals or architectural features once the puzzle has been completed. However, as noted previously, puzzles can have a learning component making them particularly applicable to children.

Applied to this particular instance, it has been further recognized that it is oftentimes difficult to teach both children and adults the angular relationship between portions of a polygon. To the average child, asking to differentiate, for example, a thirty degree angle from a forty five degree angle will result in a blank stare. Further, most children and adults, do not understand some of the fundamental relationships of polygon angles, such as, for example, the recognition that all angles within a triangle must total 180 degrees or that transcribing a circle around its center point must total 360 degrees. It is proposed herein that a learning puzzle produced according to the present invention is capable of satisfying these goals.

It is thus an object of the present invention to provide a puzzle which combines the entertainment aspect of puzzle assembly with the learning component of polygon angles to enable one to get a practical feel for angular relationships without the need for tedious memorization.

These and further objects will be more readily appreciated when considering the following disclosure and appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a learning puzzle for enhancing a user's knowledge of polygon angles. The puzzle comprises a frame and a set of puzzle pieces, each puzzle piece of said set of puzzle pieces being a polygon having straight edges and angular relationships at the intersection of said edges. The angles defining the angular relationships are preferably recited on the puzzle pieces so that they are visible to a user upon assembly of the puzzle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURE

The sole FIGURE is a top plan view of the puzzle completed as constituting the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Turning to the FIGURE, puzzle 10 is shown as including frame 11 creating an indented portion within frame 11 for accepting various puzzle pieces as shown. As noted previously, it is the intent of the present invention to provide a puzzle in the form of various polygons each of which having straight edges forming angles and geometric shapes as a learning tool. In this regard, reference is made to an example of such polygons shown as elements 12, 13, and 14.

The sub set of polygons 12, 13 and 14 of puzzle 10 contained within frame 11 is composed of triangles 13 and 14 and diamond shaped polygon 12. In reference to triangles 13 and 14, which, in this example, are of the same size and dimension, it is noted that the apex of each triangle forms an acute 45 degree angle with its sides which, in turn, form equal 67 degree angles with their bases. When joined with diamond shaped polygon 12, a larger triangle is formed which, for the sake of interest and clarity, represents a sub set that is of a different color than other sub sets within puzzle 10.

Turning once again to the example provided in the previous paragraph, it is noted that a user can now visualize what a 45 degree angle looks like and its size in comparison to a 67 degree angle. In addition, noting that triangle 14 and diamond shaped polygon 12 in being joined at common edge 17 creates a straight line 16 from the edge of border 11 to center point 15. In viewing elements 12 and 14 together, it is shown that straight line 16 is bisected by common edge 17 creating the additive of acute 45 degree angle at the apex of triangle 14 and the obtuse 135 degree angle adjacent to it within diamond shaped polygon 12. These two angles sum to 180 degrees which is always the result of straight line segment 16 supporting a plurality of polygon edges. As such, as a learning tool, a user will now be in a better position to visualize the 180 additive rule as demonstrated by puzzle 10.

As a further example of the learning component of the present invention, reference is made to puzzle center 15 which is created by the various triangular apexes of the triangular sub parts shown herein. It is noted that each triangular apex forms a 45 degree angle with its edges. In that the present octagon presents eight such apexes joined at center 15, the puzzle now teaches that around any given point, polygons create a 360 degree arc.

Although the above-recited examples are illustrative of the learning component of the present invention, it is proposed that virtually any set of polygons which can be joined to create a puzzle would help to introduce and indoctrinate children to enable them to more readily visualize angular sizes and the relationships between adjoining polygons by adding angles created by intersecting straight edges to learn the science of geometry in a fashion which is both fun and more effective than in doing so by memorization.

Although the present invention is in the shape of an octagon and the various sub parts of puzzle 10 are triangular and diamond shaped, the present invention need not be so limited. All that is required is the use of various polygons which completely fit within a suitable puzzle frame and which can be joined in finalizing the puzzle construction as a teaching aide to enable one to appreciate geometric shapes and their relationships. It is anticipated that although initially a user of puzzle 10 would construct the puzzle by simply placing the various polygons randomly within frame 11 until they fit completely to finalize the puzzle construction, once a user gets more embedded in the geometrical relationships between polygons, the puzzle construction would be dictated by knowledge of the angular relationships rather than a memorization of where the pieces fit together to create puzzle 10. This is part of the anticipated learning process in using the present invention.

The foregoing description is for the purposes of illustration only and is not intended to limit the scope of protection according to this invention. The scope of protection is to be measured by the following claims, which should be interpreted as broadly as the inventive contribution permits.





 
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