Sunday, August 7, 2016

Paper geodesic dome activity, an idea for teachers or summer enrichment activity.

Inspired by our last posting on plastic straw geodesic dome, we decided to build a kid size geodesic dome from paper.
In my experience, it's very helpful to build straw model. I keep revering back to the model when building the kids size one. This is a great exercise for kids to learn to make a model before making a real size.
Here what we did.

Tools: Masking tape, paper punch, brads, measuring tape, markers, scissors and really strong hands.
Materials: 130 pieces of really large paper.

1. Roll them to a thin pipes, tape them tight. Make a total of 65 pipes.
2. Measure 35 paper pipes to 71 cm, and 30 paper pipes 63 cm.
3. Cut them to size and group the according to the size. We will call them long and short.
4. Lay down 10 long pipes.

5. Get two long pipes and two short pipes and put them on each connections. Form triangles as pictured and connect the "base" of the triangle using brads and paper punch.
6. Get three short pipes and connect those to the short triangle. I see an imaginary "pentagon" forming. Please see picture.

7. OK.. now it gets a bit challenging. Get 4 longs and 1 shorts and connect those to the top of the top of the "pentagon".  You can refer to the second picture of this blog to help visualize.
8. As you connecting the pentagon and the hexabon, the dome will start to form. I use brass brad to connect because it will allow the pipe to rotate. Prop them up with chairs or get more kids to help.
9. Connect the top 5 short pipes together. After about total 3 hours ( excluding the paper rolling), we have a pretty sturdy dome that is great for kids or adults (kids at heart) to play.

Teachers, if you have a limited time to work, I'd recommend making a straw model. Then if you have time, then probably it's fun to make a kids size dome.
1. You can relate this with grit.
2. You can relate this with math. ( ratio, geometry, measuring)
3. You can relate this with the strongest shape in geometry ( triangle)
4. You can relate this with creativity, try to think outside the box. You can tell a story that you stranded in an island, can can only find short sticks and you need to make a shelter.
5. For moms, I think this is a fun activity together... Would you agree?

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