Paper Plate Spheres in Class

Paper Plate Spheres in Class


Lisa sent this note about doing picnic geometry in her class! Are you a teacher who’s using Make: in class? Let us know and make sure to put pictures of the projects in the Make: Flickr Pool!

I’m a special education teacher for kids with behavior problems, and today your picnic geometry web site and podcast were part of our lesson on polyhedrons in my 7th and 8th grade math class. We made the paper plate icosahedrons and had a ton of fun with it. One of my students emailed me later and said he really liked the lesson. So, your stuff is helping kids learn about geometry. My students asked me this morning if they could make more icosahedrons today and three of them made them. Also, one kid not in my math class asked if she could make one too. This is a great thing for me kids since they don’t always want to do anything, let alone math related things. Your podcast and instructions were a great help and I already have a request from a regular ed math teacher for this info, so I’m going to share it with him.

Related links:

Picnic Geometry Podcast – Link

Picnic Geometery Instructions – Link

6 thoughts on “Paper Plate Spheres in Class

  1. Canarack says:

    more proof that kids wouldn’t hate school so much if it was interesting…

  2. Vicious says:

    Wait… Is that a d20 on the far right?

  3. peridot says:

    This missed some nice possibilities: you can make all the platonic solids this way. For a tetrahedron or octahedron, just use four plates with the same triangle; for a cube, draw squares, for a dodecahedron, draw a pentagon.

    If you have clever kids, show them one or two and ask them to come up with other designs where all the faces, all the edges, and all the vertices are the same. With a little luck you’ll get some that don’t quite qualify, in which case you can point out why; there are only these five. If you’re really on the ball, you can give them the proof that there are no others (written up on a spare paper plate, perhaps); it’s based on the Euler characteristic, V-E+F=2.

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