One-Cut Paper Stars

Take a full sheet of letter-sized paper and fold it. Then with just one snip of a scissors unfold that same piece of paper and you have a five-pointed star! We like this activity as it introduces the idea of using specific paper folds to create the silhouettes of almost any shape (polygon) with one cut of a pair of scissors. Harry Houdini, the famous magician; describe this “trick” in his 1922 book titled Paper Magic. There are also historical references to Betsy Ross who created the design of the United States flag with its unique 5-pointed stars.Origami mathematics s the study of the geometry of origami. The practical goal of this activity is to engage learners in the material exploration of geometry through origami and paper-cutting.

Paper Helicopters

Create a simple paper toy “helicopter” that spins as it falls.
This is a deceptively simple activity that lets you explore complex behavior of air and pressure. With a piece of paper, scissors and a few folds you can explore aerodynamics.

Wind Racers

Wind racers is a fun activity that helps visitors play with moving air and transform it into doing work. Using sails and small-wheeled carts, they explore how wind can be used to move a boat or in this case a cart or a wind racer. Visitors construct a wind racer using paper for sails, dowels, and small-wheeled carts. There is a smooth raceway path with a fan blowing from one end of it on which the visitors will race their creations or see how far they can make it.

Pterosaur Glider

A fun activity that allows visitors to play with pterosaur anatomy as a frame for a simple glider they will build. Visitors construct their glider with straws, cardstock as wings, tail, and crest, with a rubber band on the head to use as a launching mechanism. Visitors build and test different crest and wing shapes on their gliders using two stationary launchers, watching how well the glider’s fly through the air, making changes to improve their flights.