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Make 3-D Mathematical Models Using Paper Plates

Mention paper plate projects to my kids and they’re likely to scoff.

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That’s because well-intended adults cheerfully made them suffer through paper plate crafts when they were small. (It wasn’t their eco-frenzied mother, really.) You probably made such crafts in your childhood, too. Decorate two paper plates with crayons, staple them together with dry beans in the middle and you’ve got a rattle!

But they’re intrigued by the complexity of Bradford Hansen-Smith’s paper plate designs.  By folding and joining spheres, Hansen-Smith generates a whole range of designs that reveal the beauty of geometry.

If you’re on the lookout for challenging and interesting enrichment ideas, get folding. We found Hansen-Smith’s books (available via his site) at the local library. And the video, cheesy background music and all, is a delight.

Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything, a resource guide for raising life-long learners and also a collection of poetry titled
Tending. She writes about learning, sustainability, and hopeful living for GeekMom.com, Mothering.com, and her blog. She lives with her family on Bit of Earth Farm where they raise cows, chickens, honeybees, and the occasional wild scheme. She's slow at work on her next book, Subversive Cooking.

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