Math on the Mountain: The Geometry of Streams, Bubbles, and Chocolate Milk


Copyright 2016 Christina Grossman All Rights Reserved


Copyright 2016 Christina Grossman All Rights Reserved

Mount Lemmon has been getting a lot of rain. With rain, comes running streams. Running streams bring a great lesson in geometry…..bubbles!

Take a walk and listen to the running water. Ask the kids to go find the water and see if there are any bubbles forming. Look at the bubbles and ask the kids to name the shapes they see. Do they see Spheres? Do they see Circles? What happens when the Spheres get pushed together, what other shapes do they form? Do they see Pentagons, or Hexagons (five-sided or six-sided shapes)? How would you be able to recreate these shapes at home? How about with milk?

If it raining outside, or you need to take a snack break, give the kids some milk….chocolate milk if you have it.  Get a straw and have them blow bubbles in the milk.  What happens?  Do Spheres take shape? What happens if they get pushed together?  Do you see the same shapes as from the stream?  Do you see a rounded triangle?  Well, that is called a curvilinear triangle!


Look Closer.  You will see a Curvilinear Triangle to the left of the center of the picture.  Copyright 2016 Christina Grossman All Rights Reserved


Copyright 2016 Christina Grossman All Rights Reserved


Copyright 2016 Christina Grossman All Rights Reserved

Take a look at the size of the shapes when looking at the bubbles in streams, or in the milk.  Are all the bubbles the same size?  What do you notice when big bubbles are pushed together?  Do you notice a pattern in the bubble formations?  These are great questions to ask, even if asking just one or two of these questions.  It creates another way of looking at something that we might have taken for granted, especially up on the mountain. For instance, blowing bubbles and why are they always spherical….this is something to think about.


Copyright 2016 Christina Grossman All Rights Reserved


Something To Think About:  

The next time you have some bubble solution, bubble wands, and/or a bubble machine, ask this question:  Does the bubble always come out as a sphere regardless of the shape of the bubble wand?  Why do think that happens?

Here is a website that has a brief description about that:

Remember, these small lessons are to help the child and ourselves to begin seeing and thinking about the world for what it is.  The mathematics is there, it is free for everyone to learn, and there is an abundance of math to explore inside your home and outside, on the mountain, on a desert, and everywhere else.  🙂

If you would like a recipe to make bubble solution, here is a link for you (I am not paid to show support for this site, as well as the one above regarding the spherical shape of bubbles).  Enjoy!


Copyright 2016 Christina Grossman All Rights Reserved


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