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Dissecting Geometry hero illustration

Dissecting Geometry

Selected dates in Terms 1 - 4

Exploring principles of mathematics and engineering, students will create a series of three-dimensional drawings and models that abstract and amplify the geometry of the Sydney Opera House.

In the Centre for Creativity | Sydney Opera House Presents | Schools

Exploring mathematics through visual arts

Utilising the charismatic and thought-provoking Eddie Woo Maths at the Sydney Opera House videos, students in years 7 - 9 will learn about architecture, perspective, geometry and Jorn Utzon and Ove Arup’s Spherical Solution to gain an understanding of the mechanics, engineering and sheer creativity involved in constructing the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Students develop a series of drawings through observing the structure of the building, and work with archival photographs and objects to dissect the mathematical patterns, additive and pre-fabricated elements of the building to create new or alternative versions of the Opera House. From here, students will use installation and sculptural processes to enlarge, distort, emphasise and recreate aspects of the building from different perspectives.

In this workshop students will:

  • create a series of observational sketches, collaborative three-dimensional drawings and small sculptural models that replicate the geometry of the Sydney Opera House
  • work with peers to distort and abstract patterns and stuctures of the Opera House to create new imagined versions of the Opera House and surrounding buildings
  • develop an understanding of the Utzon Design Principles, in particular Utzon's use of additive architecture, counter balance, sculpture and form
  • interrogate historic and contemporary maps, photographs, drawings and models of the Sydney Opera House and consider how architects, engineers and builders collaborated and problem solved to create the building seen today

Sydney Opera House recognises the work of educator Eddie Woo in developing and delivering Mathematics teaching and learning strategies specific to the Sydney Opera House that have informed the outcomes and activities for this Creative Learning Module.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Curriculum Links

Each Creative Learning Module is devised to align with the Australian National Curriculum cross-curricular priorities and general capabilities, in particular critical and creative thinking, ethical understanding, intercultural understanding, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture priority and Sustainability priorities.


Visual Arts: ACAVAM121 - Practise techniques and processes to enhance representation of ideas in their art-making Eg. reflecting, adjusting, modifying and evaluating their own artwork through consistent critical assessment, and refining intentions and viewpoints when making, responding to and displaying artworks; and researching widely to find the most appropriate sources of information about visual arts skills, use of materials, traditional and contemporary styles, display options, and sources for ideas when developing their own artwork
Visual Arts: ACAVAM128 - Plan and design artworks that represent artistic intention. Eg. being imaginative when applying a personal aesthetic, for example, when planning to manipulate and/or appropriate images, objects and spaces into new contexts and meanings
Visual Arts: Critical and Historical Studies - Stage 4-5 Students learn about Australian and international artists, designers, architects from different times and places with a focus on those with an iconic status and others who are relevant to the cultural and personal interests of students. Eg. investigate how different artists in different
times and places develop their intentions and
recognise some of the constraints they work
Mathematics: ACMMG161 - Draw different views of prisms and solids formed from combinations of prisms. Eg. using aerial views of buildings and other 3-D structures to visualise the structure of the building or prism
Mathematics: ACMMG197 - Investigate the relationship between features of circles such as circumference, area, radius and diameter. Use formulas to solve problems involving circumference and area. Eg. investigating the circumference and area of circles with materials or by measuring, to establish an understanding of formulas; and investigating the area of circles using a square grid or by rearranging a circle divided into sectors
Mathematics: ACMNA296 - Graph simple non-linear relations with and without the use of digital technologies and solve simple related equations Eg. graphing parabolas, and circles connecting x-intercepts of a graph to a related equation.
Design and Technology: ACTDEK047 - Investigate and make judgements, within a range of technologies specialisations, on how technologies can be combined to create designed solutions. Eg. critiquing environments in relation to preferred futures in relation to society, ethics and sustainability practices; and examining factors influencing the design of a product that has an explicit environmental emphasis
Design and Technology: ACTDEK046 - Investigate and make judgements on how the characteristics and properties of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment can be combined to create designed solutions Eg. analysing and explaining the ways in which the properties and characteristics of materials have been considered in the design of a product with specific requirements
Civics and Citizenship: ACHCK081 - How ideas about and experiences of Australian identity are influenced by global connectedness and mobility Eg. examining stories of how Australian citizens’ perspectives on their role in the global community have been influenced by their experiences of living and working in other countries; and examining forms of global connectedness such as digital technology, arts, trade, language learning, employment, travel and immigration

Program information

These newly developed Creative Learning Modules use the site and building of the Sydney Opera House as a catalyst for learning about science, technology, engineering, arts, architecture and maths - transforming the way we understand STEM subjects and ideas through the creative and performing arts.

The Modules can be delivered alongside a schools tour of the House exploring First Nations perspectives, the architectural practice of Jorn Utzon and his collaborators, as well as the contemporary uses of the site as a world-class performing arts venue. All Modules include pre- and post-learning activities, as well as a range of video resources designed for students to develop lateral connections with content for deeply embedded learning experiences.

Ticket and Travel Subsidy

The Sydney Opera House is committed to providing the very best national and international performing arts experiences to NSW students as part of their educational studies.

The Sydney Opera House Arts Assist program provides the full cost of the Creative Learning performance ticket and $5 per student toward travel costs. School applications are assessed according to socioeconomic disadvantage, schools with special needs and individual responses regarding the School Profile and School Community.

The Sydney Opera House thanks and acknowledges our generous Arts Assist donors; The Greatorex Foundation and Sydney Opera House Ladies’ Committee.

Venue Information

In line with the NSW Public Health Order, venue capacity is currently limited to 75%. This includes all performances in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Studio, Playhouse, Drama Theatre and Utzon Room. Please note that you may be seated directly alongside other patrons.

Our foyers will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice). 
  • The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - Schools

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

Frequently Asked Questions - Venue

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