Friday, April 25, 2014

Engineering Paper Cubes

In a recent Computer Science workshop with 6th grade, students were challenged to replicate a Rubik's Cube in paper. They had to measure the cube and identify the different types of cubes that comprise the whole.

Then they had to devise a method for creating 3D cubes out of 2D sheets of paper. The class had recently worked through similar fold-able exercises so this step wasn't a big step for them.

Working in groups, they developed roles and processes to accomplish repetitive tasks quickly. Tape was found to stick better than glue.

They also had to color the model correctly. This can be challenging as students don't often realize that all 26 component cubes are different. They also needed to color the paper before folding which again emphasized the three dimensional relationships.

The entire project took a couple of days but less than an hour each day. Areas of efficiency students could have worked on would included cutting more patterns out of a single sheet of paper (less waste). The kids also got to playing the cubes but when they were left with only one solved cube, it was left off limits as a control group.

I really enjoyed working with the kids and want to send a big shout out to Mrs Stauffer for letting me invade her science class!

Lesson plan, cubes and ideas all came from