To make these, you start with the pinwheel base. You can look up many, many tutorials for “origami pinwheel base” and I’ve made a quick video below (no sound). Then… just start folding. It helps if you keep your folds working in 4-fold symmetry (do the same to all 4 squares made by the pinwheel base), but I sure won’t discourage you from trying other things.
Lots of examples below that you can create through experimenting. One of the things I liked today about the kids who stopped by the Math-on-a-Stick booth was that a lot of them would immediately know what they wanted to try after they got the pinwheel base done. Mostly, you figure these out with experiments. Try folding up. Try folding down. Can you make squares? How about a kite? Fold forward. Fold backward… Everything goes, and if you mess it up, well, I bet you can get a hold of more paper. By all means, try recreating some of the images below.
In the first, allow me to thank each and every one of you who has participated in the #MathArtChallenge in the last few months. This is my “last” post. Meaning, I don’t promise to make more Math Art Challenges, but there’s always the chance that something will come up…
All of the #MathArtChallenge-s will continue to be up on this blog, and I really hope that you’ll make use of them in your classes or in your fun time or however brings you joy.
The Challenge: Today, you get Balloon Polyhedra. There’s actually severalpapers written about this, so go check them out.
Materials needed: Twisting balloons, pump, patience Math conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: angles, arithmetics, counting, geometry, graph theory, polygons, polyhedra, symmetry, vertices/intersections
The Challenge: Learn a bit about the code discussed below, and then have yourself or students create some or all of the quilt blocks discussed.
Materials needed: Certainly you can make these as actual quilt pieces. You can also just use a square piece of paper and work on construction within that using paper and pencil. Math conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: angles, arithmetic, geometry, philosophy on math, polygons, symmetry, tessellations.
The Challenge: How many 2 link knots can you find? See the examples above to help you get started.
Materials Needed: knot materials (these could be crocheted like I have, or shoe laces, or electrical cords which you can plug into themselves) Math conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: combinations & permutations, graph theory, knot theory, topology, vertices/intersections.
The Challenge: Create a magic square. Bonus points if you make it a physical thing.
Materials Needed: Legos, blocks or coins all work well for making these towers. Could also be pen/pencil & paper, of course. Math Concepts: Algebra, arithmetic, counting, proportions/ratios, structure, sum of 1-n integers
The Challenge: Using a vertex description, build yourself one, two… up to all 13 of the Archimedean solids.
Materials needed: Card stock and tape (painter’s tape is great, or masking. Other stuff will work, but I’ve had more success with the paper-y tapes.) OR Magnatiles, but those can get pretty pricey. Math Concepts: structure, polyhedra, angles, 3D structure
The Challenge: Following the style of W.E.B. Du Bois’ Data Portraits, update or create a graphic demonstrating current data. For example, below on the left is Du Bois’s portrait comparing Black and white occupations in 1890 and on the right is my recreation using the closest set of matching data I could find in 2018.
Materials Needed: Maybe graph paper, maybe simply regular paper and writing tools. Math conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: Statistics