Our one cut project

Saw this amazing video on the “one cut” problem from Numberphile and Katie Steckles yesterday:

After watching the video, my younger son spent some time trying to make various shapes last night:


That gave me the idea to try out the idea for our little Family Math project today.

The first shape we tried was also the first example in the video – a square:

Next I drew a rectangle to see if the kids could apply some of the same ideas to fold the paper and cut out the rectangle with one cut. There’s a lot of nice mathy discussion from the kids trying to figure out the fold here:

For the next challenge – an equilateral triangle. I thought that a general triangle would be too difficult for a 5 minute video project, but the equilateral triangle worked really well. Again, there’s some great math conversations:

Finally, I had them follow the folds that Steckles made in the video to produce a star. This was a challenge for them, but we got pretty close. Not bad for our first try 🙂

So, a super fun project. Once again Numberphile has produced an incredible video you can use to talk math with kids.