Available as part of the Everyday Stuff STEAM Workshops Bundle, which includes:
|Start / End Dates||Now through Dec. 31, 2021|
|Paper Math Models||$10 per household|
|Everyday Stuff STEAM Bundle||$50 per household|
|Access through Dec 31, 2021|
Paper Inventions: Amazing Math Models
In this one-session workshop, learn to create playful paper designs that have intrigued mathematicians for generations. If you like puzzles, brain teasers, and optical illusions, this class is for you!
We’ll explore the mysterious behavior of math models like the Mobius strip, the hexaflexagon, and the dragon curve fractal using just paper, scissors, tape, and markers. It’s a fun, informal introduction to topology — sometimes called “rubber sheet geometry” because it looks at how shapes can change and yet stay the same.
Watch the video below for a sneak peek!
About 90 minutes, including a 16-minute video.
Each short project takes about 20 minutes to complete and includes suggestions for further exploration.
What to Expect
This self-paced workshop includes:
- a 16-minute video that explains the projects and demonstrates how to make them;
- written and printable instructions;
- links to more online resources.
Cutting, folding, taping, and measuring paper.
- Students will learn to look for the math implications of everyday shapes.
- Students will be introduced to the idea of using simple materials like paper to create models of abstract designs.
- Students will use engineering design skills like prototyping, testing, trouble-shooting, and iteration as they build, improve, and enhance their models.
In addition to the items below, I highly recommend my book Paper Inventions. It contains the projects featured in this workshop and many more, from a newspaper geodesic dome playhouse, to light-up paper designs!
4-5 sheets of letter or similar paper (cutting the paper into strips beforehand is helpful for some children — more details on the Teachable page)
tape (clear tape or whatever you have)
pen or pencil
(optional) highlighter, washable marker, colored pencil, or similar drawing tool that won’t bleed through paper
(optional) ruler or straight-edge
Kathy Ceceri, B.A.
Kathy Ceceri is an award-winning writer and educator, and the author of more than a dozen books of hands-on STEAM activities for kids and teens. Formerly the Homeschooling Expert at About.com (now ThoughtCo), she wrote the Hands-On Learning column for Home Education magazine and taught her own two children at home from kindergarten until college.
Kathy’s workshops and activities are designed with the non-expert in mind. They introduce basic concepts in science and technology, and give students the skills and information they need to troubleshoot their projects and build upon what they’ve learned. Additional background material and resources look at the diverse people behind the inventions and put them into context in the larger society.