Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Topics in STEAM: Origami

Origami isn't one of our enduring passions, but it IS super fun, and I'm always stoked whenever something randomly reminds me that, "Hey! We like origami! I should get a bunch of how-to books from the library and make an evening of it!"

This time, it was reading the leader manual for the Girl Scout Cadette Designing Robots badge, and noticing that origami is one of the suggested starting activities for Step 1: Pick a challenge.

Hey! We like origami! I should get a bunch of how-to books from the library and make an evening of it!

Which, with the addition of the first season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (on DVD, also from the library), is exactly what we did:


Syd made a small fleet of foxes from Origami Wild Animals:


I busied myself make the stars from Hello Origami, trying to get the folds even and then making myself an entire rainbow. Later, Syd sneaked them onto the Christmas tree for me!


The folds are for sure not even, but whatever.
Will is our origami champion, though. She made the Compass from Modern Kudusuma Origami and made us our tree topper!


We have a nine-foot tree this year, so that star is HUGE!

On another night, we watched the NOVA episode on the way that engineers are attempting to integrate origami into robotics, and that sealed our connection between our fun project and thinking about efficient, effective, and appealing robot designs.

And speaking of sealing... previously, we've experimented with sealing origami designs with beeswax. The five billion coats of polyurethane sealant that I just put on my lap desk, however, had made me wonder if we could also seal origami that way. I don't know what the benefits of it would be, though, as our origami paper is already pretty archival--perhaps it would stiffen it and make it even more workable as an ornament or in a garland?

Stay tuned!

Here are the origami how-to books that we still have on our shelves:

I want to make the folded box and the lazy Susan. Will wants to make the dragon.

I think the Christmas tree and Santa would make good embellishments for the front of a greeting card. And the Star of David looks super easy!

I am seriously going to try the gift tags before I wrap the last of my Christmas gifts, because I've really been needing a DIY gift tag!

Honestly, we're not going to make anything from this book, but I'm keeping it on our shelves until it's due so that I can pretend like we are. I SUPER want a giant paper sphere made of origami octagons folded as edges!

I thought that Syd was going to go nuts for this origami book all about folding miniature articles of clothing, but she's not into it. Nevertheless, *I* want to fold a couple of the skirts and then see if she'll draw me a person to match.

Okay, we are legitimately going to make EVERY SINGLE THING in this book. It's got a ton of geometric solids, and then interesting extensions of them, and creative embellishments... I'll be fine having this be our weekly math enrichment activity for the rest of the school year.

I think we've got enough to keep us occupied on all of our long, cold winter nights!

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