Using the Mathematical Etudes videos with kids

Saw this tweet from Steven Strogatz earlier in this month:

The videos are amazing and I finally got around to using one of them with the boys last night. We looked at one of the paper folding videos here (I’m sorry that I don’t know how to embed this video):

Mathematical Etudes – Origami “Single Cut”

I picked this project because we had previously done several “one cut” projects after seeing the amazing video from Katie Steckles and Numberphile:

Here are the three projects that we did after seeing Steckles’s video:

Our One Cut Project

Fold and cut project #2

Fold and cut part 3

After watching the “Single Cut” Mathematical Etudes video with each of the boys separately, we tried to cut out a triangle.

I did the project with my older son first. He remembered how to make angle bisectors by folding the paper, so that part went quickly. He skipped drawing in the perpendiculars (!) and went straight to the folding part and was able to get the folds just about right. Pretty efficient – ha!


My younger son had a little more difficulty recreating the procedure in the video, but we did get there. He used a protractor to find the angle bisectors and then drew in the perpendiculars by sight. The folding was more difficult for him which surprised me a little, but I guess the dexterity required for this folding is easier for a 6th grader than for a 4th grader.

I’m sorry this video is nearly 10 minutes long, but I hope it shows that even a fairly young kid can use this Mathematical Etudes video to learn to cut out a triangle in one cut!