The Countdown to Maker Faire Bay Area is On!


Math Monday: Giant SOMA puzzle

Math Monday: Giant SOMA puzzle

Giant SOMA puzzle

By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics


The seven-piece SOMA puzzle has been a classic since Piet Hein invented it in the 1930s. The Math Museum has a giant SOMA, one meter on each side, for visitors to play with. This one is stuffed with foam so you can climb on your creations.


It is easy to glue together 27 wood cubes to make your own set. There are seven pieces to the puzzle — all the possible ways to have at most four blocks and at least one bend. Note that two of the pieces are mirror images.


Once you make a set of pieces, you can challenge your spatial abilities by assembling them into many different constructions. Here are a just a few things you can make, each with the same seven pieces.


It is a fun group activity to make a much larger SOMA by assembling cardboard boxes. Instructions are online here.

Math Monday: Tie your bagel in a knot!
Math Monday: Playing card constructions
Introducing “Math Monday”

2 thoughts on “Math Monday: Giant SOMA puzzle

  1. Jon says:

    You should have included the world’s largest SOMA Puzzle build by Leonardo’s Basement for the Minnesota State Fair.

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 30% off early bird ticket sales ends August 31st, 2023!

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Prices Increase in....