Week 48: Bubbles!

Pipe cleaners have so many uses and one of the best ways to use them is to make bubbles. This week I encourage learners to build mathematical structures with pipe cleaners, straws, string, or other waterproof toys to create beautiful structures. I used Zometools in some of my classes as well, and they were a big hit. If this is being done inside, then a fan can be a great tool with a small tub of soap. I did this in my Village Home classes from a few years ago and it was great for 5yrs to 16yrs to adults. Diluted dish-soap worked well for us, but some folks have special formulas for bubble solutions to make them last longer.

Try to create cubes, pyramids, octahedrons, dodecahedrons, cylinders, and two dimensional portals for bubbles. What is so cool about bubbles is that they can fill in the sides/faces for the skeletons that are created, and yet curved bubbles emerge when they exit the structure. Things to discuss would be volumes, vertices, faces, paths, hypercubes, ellipsoids, air currents vs bubble size, etc..

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Week 3: Sonobe Octahedron

Octahedrons are such a fun shape. This week we are going to learn an important fold in origami that can be used to make so many mathematical shapes, puzzles and works of art. We are going to learn Sonobe. Below is a video of how to create the basic fold and then assemble the octahedron. You will need 12 sheets of origami paper. I have done this project with 7yrs and up. My high school students have folded in teams to make larger polyhedra. In future weeks we will be making other structures and sonobe will be an option.

The best resource for Sonobe I have found is here: https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/290032/original/oragami.pdf