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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Polyhedra with flexible straw

Some games are incredible amazing, they are so simple and obvious that they take us back to school playground.

Today we will play with simple materials, but we will do amazing stuff. Our little restless minds will be amazed with the fantastic effect, and they will not know how to spot doing it.

First of all,
Polyhedra are geometric solids limited by polygons, in other words, all polyhedra faces are plain, and these faces can have any number of edges (the triangle has three edges, the square has 4 ...).
In this activity we will build geometric solids with straws and tape, you will see they are stronge and stable.

We will need:
  • flexible straws,
  • tape.
How to:
  1. Take 2 straws; 
  2. Flexible straws have one short end and one long side, with your fingers press the short end, smash it, you must be able to squeeze it;
  3. Take the squeezed end and snap it inside the longest end of the second straw;
  4. Repeat the procedure with a third straw; 
  5. Bend all three flexible ends at 60º, join the large and small ends of the first and third straw, and this will make a triangle;
  6. Make 4 triangles;
  7. Tape the triangles, side to side;
  8. The last triangle is the base, now you have a pyramid, tape several different triangles in different positions and you will build other solids.
  9. If instead of using three straws you use 4 you will make a square, with 6 squares you can make a cube;
  10. If you use 5, it will become a  pentagon, a hexagon can be made with 6 .... and so on, the more you use the larger will be the structure;
  11. You may want to do smaller solids...cut the straws ... if you do this cut them all the same size.

    Et voilá!
    Fun math with colorful straws


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