Retired educator teaches youth geometry and math through quilting, and they love it

​Who said that you'd never use math in real life? The Rock Paper Scissors Collective art and community studio in downtown Oakland​, California​ is ​offering a unique internship for students from Oakland MetWest High School that combines math with quilting. The program was started by Wendy Lichtman, a retired math teacher, who blended her love of quilting with her love of math to create hands-on geometry lessons for students struggling to understand the subject. The finished quilts are donated to patients at the local Children's Hospital and to Bay Area foster children. Win-win!


"Not very many 15-year-olds care that two parallel lines are crossed by a transversal. They don't really care very much about that. But right here are two parallel lines and these are transversals and they are at a 90-degree angle, and you really got to get it to look right," said Lichtman.

Her student interns plot their projects on graph paper, then do multiplication and measurements to put the pieces together.

"I love the whole process of it and I love quilting itself. I think it's a beautiful form of art," said Catrina Maldonado-Arias, another intern from MetWest High School, "It's geometric shapes, then you tessellate, and there are lots of measurements."