Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Strength of The Fold - Origami Science For Kids

Science Sunday

I pulled a quick scientific demonstration from Michael G. LaFosse's Making Origami Science Experiments Step by Step, last night.

First, I gave the children an unfolded piece of origami paper, and ask if it could stand up on end, on its own.

It couldn't.

Then, I folded it in half. Now, it could stand. Why?

After the children briefly discussed the wider base, and balance of the two sides, I asked if our paper could hold up a book.

They didn't think so. So, I asked what if we added another piece of paper.

They still didn't think so. And, I might add, that nobody, not even my oldest, thought back to our paper cube experiment... I made a mental note, that it's time to do some backtracking, and repeating.

But first, while the children were watching, I fan folded two pieces of origami paper, and used them as pillars to hold up a book.

When, I asked them what was making the thin sheets of paper so strong, G (age 11) pointed out right away, that the folds were forming partial triangles, and triangles are always the strongest shapes when building.

So, maybe we won't have to backtrack quite as far. For now, I'll click on over to with the younger children this afternoon, to review, and cement some of what we've learned, with The Magic School Bus Under Construction.

While we're doing that, be sure to check out the rest of the science experiments, and projects at the Science Sunday link-up over at Adventures in Mommydom.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Phyllis said...

That looks like so much fun. We love building with triangles, too.

Marcia said...

What a great activity ...I love the combination of topics that fit together so well. I did some origami with students this week and also showed a Magic School Bus video this week also!
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Joyful Learner said...

Good thinking by your 11year old!

learning ALL the time!!/Susan said...

Your recent origami activities are inspiring to mother gave my girls an origami kit a while back. I think we need to break out that kit soon! I've also loved seeing the origami-themed books you've used :0)

Ticia said...

What a great way to wow them. I'm thinking, it'd be fun to try that on my kids, but first try it with one piece of paper just folded once.

Christy said...

How cool! We haven't done origami, but we did fold paper to hold up blocks and structures a while back; the children were pretty amazed.

April said...

Origami is so interesting, I never thought of using it for science!

Wonder Mom said...

Yet ANOTHER idea I can add to my Magic Science unit- SCORE! :0)

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Raising a Happy Child said...

Awesome "applied materials" exercise! I loved reading about it.