At the 2016 Singapore Maker Faire, admid rows and rows of Makers exhibiting really cool stuff, I gravitated towards a booth demonstrating magical Roly Poly pop-up story books, published by Scholastic. I immediately fell in love with them.
The hinged nested boxes that make up a Roly Poly book are constructed with triangular components. Math, Aesthetics and Engineering are inherent in each progressively smaller boxes as they unfold. Inspired to recreate one, I ordered a few Roly Poly books as soon as I got home. I then challenged myself to figure out the precise net drawing for these boxes without taking apart the purchased ones. With the help of Math and LOTS of prototyping, I figured it out!
Now with my digital net drawing completed, these Roly Poly boxes have become a staple in my bag of tricks. Their templates can be cut using scissors, or an analog or digital die cutting machine and have been a source of fun learning for kids and grownups.
They have delighted young visitors at NYGH Open Houses, Makers of all ages at the 2017 Singapore Makers Faire, Teachers at ExCEL Fest Expo 2016, NYGH students (Sec 3 / 8th grade) in my Independent Project Module and with SJI boys who integrated pop-up mechanisms, printed imagery and circuitry inside, to share an aspect of themselves through a cultural lens.
A wonderful teaching and learning experience with them involved a Sec 2 NYGH Math teacher who partnered with me in my Makerspace, for a lesson about the strength of triangles. During the lesson, the Teacher first shared Math concepts with the students, then I engaged them with cutting beautiful papers using an analog die cutting machine. Students completed their hands-on project by folding and assembling the triangles into fabulous Roly Poly boxes.
After the lesson was over, the Math Teacher had the students reflect on their learning with the Thinking Routine: “I used to think __________, now I think ________”.
Here is a reflection from a student. —->>>>
Check out the beautiful student work below!