How Is Geometry Used in Real Life?

By Kristine Tucker; Updated April 25, 2017
Video games and sports use geometry.

Geometry has many practical uses in everyday life, such as measuring circumference, area and volume, when you need to build or create something. Geometric shapes also play an important role in common recreational activities, such as video games, sports, quilting and food design. Without geometry, engineers and architects wouldn't be able to design and construct houses, buildings, cars and tools that make life easier and more enjoyable.

Materials, Design and Construction

Geometry allows you to determine how much material you need to complete a project. For example, you must calculate the perimeter of your yard to determine how much fencing you need or calculate the surface area of your walls to determine how much paint you need. Engineers, architects and builders use geometry to calculate area and volume before they install in-ground pools or build houses and other structures. Geometric awareness, such as the use of shapes, lines and figures, is necessary to create layouts and designs for school projects, such as poster board displays or electronic presentations.

Video Games and Other Recreational Activities

Video games use geometry to help viewers experience depth and movement. "Interactions between geometric shapes, such as circles, squares, trapezoids and ovals, are the basic foundation of all videos games," according to the Math Worksheet Center. Other recreational activities, such as building kites, constructing skateboard ramps or creating Lego and Lincoln Log structures, require geometry. Geometry allows you to determine how shapes and figures fit together to maximize efficiency and visual appeal.

Sports, Athletic Fields and Equipment

Without geometry, you wouldn't have sports, athletic fields or equipment that enable competition and challenge participants to achieve the desired goals. For example, as a basketball, soccer, hockey or football kicker, you use geometry to determine how much arc you need to score from a certain distance. Hockey-equipment developers must determine how much angle to put on the end of a stick and how long to make the shaft. Geometry allows you to mark off athletic fields, such as rectangles for football, soccer and hockey and more complex diamond shapes for baseball or semicircle shapes for track and field.

Functional Food Designs

Geometric shapes are a significant part of food design. For example, scoop-shaped pasta is designed to hold sauce; square-shaped pasta -- such as ravioli -- encases meat, vegetables, sauce or cheese; and ridged pasta soaks up sauce. Hard-shell tacos hold meats, vegetables, cheese and sauces so they don't spill out. Geometric cookie cutters allow you to make cookies in the shape of circles, squares, stars, bells, snowmen and other designs. Geometry allows you to cut cakes and pies into equal-sized portions in a variety of shapes, such as triangles, squares or rectangles.

Quality Quilting

Quilting requires geometry to ensure that your linens have symmetry and visual appeal. A quilting block is made of shapes -- for example, 16 smaller squares, each consisting of two triangles. With geometry, you can align and organize the smaller blocks and corresponding triangles to create desired patterns.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.