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:

Folding

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.

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