Educational Value

Geometry Class

Although Matryoshka is mainly designed for having fun expressing visual creativity, it also serves as an educational tool for children of primary school age and older. Besides being a good introduction to digital art, kids are also learning about various concepts in geometry without even realizing it. It could be used in a classroom setting.

But just to be clear, you don't need any math skills to be able to effectively use Matryoshka.

Visual Arts Curriculum (Irish Primary School)

Matryoshka is relevant to the current Irish primary school curriculum for visual arts in the following quoted aspects:

Strand: Drawing/Making Drawing
  • doing a number of exploded designs using a computer art program
  • using computer experiments in shape and colour to design a print
Strand: Print/Making Prints
  • using a computer art program to experiment with marks, lines, shapes, pattern and rhythm
  • using a computer art program to create and modify images and to organise a composition
Strand: Print/Looking and responding
Mathematics Integration
  • developing awareness of 2-D shape
  • creating patterns with 2-D shapes
  • experimenting with 2-D shapes and properties to solve problems in design
Strand: Fabric and fibre/Creating in fabric and fibre
  • designing a collage or appliqué piece on an imaginative theme
  • interpreting a natural object in line, shape, colour, pattern, texture through collage or appliqué
  • developing the motif as a pattern, possibly as a repeat pattern to be used in fabric printing

Maths Curriculum (Irish Primary School)

Matryoshka is relevant to the current Irish primary school curriculum for mathematics in the following quoted aspects:

Strand: Shape and Space/2-D shapes
  • combine, tessellate and make patterns with 2-D shapes
  • solve and complete practical tasks and problems involving 2-D shapes
Strand: Shape and Space/Symmetry
  • identify and draw lines of symmetry in two dimensional shapes (fold paper shapes or use a mirror to identify lines of symmetry)
  • use understanding of line symmetry to complete missing half of a shape, picture or pattern
Strand: Shape and Space/Lines and angles
  • recognise an angle in terms of a rotation
  • solve problems involving lines and angles

Concepts in Geometry

Examples of geometric math concepts that can be learned intuitively while playing with Matryoshka:

  1. Mirroring a figure on an axis
  2. Rotation around a center point
  3. Scaling figures
  4. Relative angles between figures
  5. The mathematical concept of a fractal

Concepts in Digital Art

Matryoshka is a good way to intuitively learn many computer graphic concepts in a "sandbox environment" that does not overwhelm with features and controls.

  1. Layering of images
  2. Ordering of layers
  3. Cut-outs and transparencies
  4. Graduated opacity
  5. Centering of images within defined borders
  6. Image transformations: scaling, rotating, flipping and mirroring

A Segway to Graphical Editors

Matryoshka is also a good segway for learning how to use other graphics software like Gimp or Photoshop-Lite. To make a picture Matryoshka needs a transparent cutout to use as a subject-image for repeating. The easiest way to get one is to use Google image search, but it's better to learn how to make your own image-cutout using some graphics software. This is one of the most fundamental tasks in making digital art.

A Cutout Image

As educator and engineer Elon Musk has expressed in an interview, children need to understand the relevance of using a tool. If you want to teach children how engines work, he says, you wouldn’t want to first teach them all about wrenches and all about screwdrivers. You would show them the engine, and ask how they would take it apart. “Then a very important thing happens, which is that the relevance of the tools becomes apparent,” he says in the interview.

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