Mirror Pillar activities

Think Maths team members Matt and Katie have created a maths project that will take place from October 2018 – they’ve made a 2m tall cylinder out of mirror steel, and will be using it to create anamorphic images. Anamorphic images have been distorted, so that they only look correct when viewed from one exact position.

Equipment needed

The Mirror Pillar will allow people to draw distorted pictures on the floor, and see them correctly in the curved mirror. This pack of worksheets and activities will allow your students to explore the mathematics of anamorphic images – including an investigation into factors that affect our view of the image, tasks on angles and reflections to understand the process by which the mirror distorts the images and some hands-on activities involving mini-Mirror Pillars and anamorphic projections. If you’d like to get involved in the main Pillar tour too, you can make your own giant Mirror Pillar image and bring or send it to be reflected in the pillar itself – details in the cover sheet.

Mini-Mirror Pillar activities: printouts, toilet roll tubes, reflective mylar foil, plasticine (for sculpture activity), drawing/colouring equipment.

Anamorphic projection activity: digital projector, large sheets of paper, walls/floor or large boxes, paint/colours/masking tape

Mirror Pillar Investigation activity: some sections involve use of rulers and a protractor, and some involve students having access to a GeoGebra file online.

Our included Cover sheet and Teachers Notes/Solutions have more detailed information about the activities.

Curriculum Topics Covered

Angles and geometry, right triangle trigonometry, physics of reflections, perspective