Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Newspaper Geodesic Dome

I found the instructions for this project some time ago, on the Zoom website, and then again at www.instructibles.com/id/Build_a_cheap_and_easy_Den, but we didn't have enough newspaper to attempt it. It takes 130, double wide, sheets. This weekend, our neighbors were sweet enough to let us raid their recycle pile, and we came away with more than enough paper proceed.

Since the instructions for this project can be found all over the Internet, I won't go into too much detail here. Basically, it's a matter of rolling and cutting newspaper tubes, so that you have 35 that are 62 cm long, and 30 that are 58 cm long.

Then, laying them out, and stapling them, into a decagon...


...adding alternating, short and long triangles...


...connecting the triangles with short tubes...


...alternating between adding two long tubes, and one short tube vertically above the peak of each base triangle...


...connecting one short, and two long vertical tubes, to form a new set of triangles...


...connecting the peaks of the new triangles, with long tubes, to form a pentagon...


...stapling the last five short tubes to the angles of the pentagon, so they meet in the middle, and then stapling them together.


We added masking tape to each of the joints, to secure them a bit, and covered it in newspaper and tissue paper.


These domes are supposed to be quite strong, due to the triangular construction. But, we found that anywhere we had allowed the tubes to bend, as we were putting the dome together, formed weak spots. Still, it was strong enough to support its own weight, and the paper covering (which we did eventually complete). And, it is large enough to make a pretty cool fort. Not to mention, that the children were busy reading the latest headlines from within their little hideout, for hours, and I've heard some talk of a shadow puppet play being planned for later on today. Right now though, I believe, it's housing a Pokemon battle of some kind.
Of course, the best part is that between the measuring, sorting, counting, triangles, decagons, and pentagons, we've got a nice little jump on this weeks math.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

2 comments:

Marcee Moore said...

Wow, that is impressive! How long did it take to build it?

LJohnson said...

It wasn't bad - just a couple of hours from the start. The hardest part was putting the covering on.