platonics

In a matter of minutes you can transform flat pieces of newspaper into dramatic 3D geometric frame sculptures.

WHY ARE THEY SPECIAL?

A Platonic solid is a three dimensional shape where:

  • each face is the same regular polygon 

  • the same number of polygons meet at each vertex (where polygon edges meet)

 

Platonic shapes are unique in that every face is a regular polygon of the same size and shape. For example, each face of the cube is a square.

 

Platonic solids are convex (all its interior angles less than 180°). This means that all the vertices of the polygon will point outwards, away from the interior of the shape.

 

It is not possible to have more than five platonic solids, because any other possibility breaks the rules about the number of edges, corners and faces that can be together. They are named after Plato, a famous Greek philosopher and mathematician. 

Question: what do you think a concave polygon look like? 

STEPS

What you need:

  1. Newspaper or similar paper

  2. Tape (sturdy tape like duct tape works well)

Steps:

  1. Roll each sheet of newspaper into long paper sticks.

  2. Referring to the diagram below, connect the ends of the sticks to construct the edge lines for one or more of the five platonic solids. Experiment with ways to connect the ends. Don't have tape but do have a stapler? Try a stapling the ends! Be resourceful and creative.

  3. If you've built multiple platonic solids, try putting them together to build a structure. 

  4. Dare to build more complex structures? What will your brilliant mind create?!

Images courtesy of We Puzzle Together

For projects for younger kids, look for Nigel the koala. 

BIG hint! You'll find Nigel in What's different? • Play portal • We Puzzle Together for Tots

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