Paper Universe

This year we have participated in the STEM Discovery Week as a part of the initiative of a few Scientix ambassadors from the South of Serbia, called NiSTEAM. We held workshops and had some fun and engaging activities in 5 schools during this week.

In Maths lessons in our school, we are trying to teach about geometry in an interesting way and we always want to apply that knowledge, so students can see why is that useful. They like especially all activities that are connecting their knowledge with real life. Ways that we can connect maths with other subjects are limitless.

For this STEM Discovery Week, we wanted to connect math with geography and make a Universe using geometry objects made of paper and cardboard.

When I asked my 11 years old students how they would make a Universe using just a plain paper, they wanted to start with the stars, but they didn’t quite know how to make them.

We started to look for some nice paper stars and we were pleasantly surprised when we found a resource on the Scientix portal just about that. It was a Five-pointed star origami resource by EUNAWE. Students tried to make these stars and were so happy when they learned how to do that.

But, how we can make planets? These young students learned about circles, so we started to think about how to make the planets using just circles. They came up with an idea, similar to the pop-up picture books.

After that, we started to explore the website of Universe Awareness project and found a way how we could make planets using 3-dimensional objects that we already have learned about.
A few months ago, we have used another resource from the Scientix portal, made by the project NeoTrie. It was a mobile app for learning about Platonic solids and we used it while we were learning about Polyhedrons with the 14 years old students.

In this engaging lesson about Platonic solids, we researched and learned many things about Icosahedron – the solid that we can make planets from. The resource from Universe Awareness was called just like that: Icosa – planet.

We’ve made all planets (trying to keep their proportions as much as we could), painted them and made a wonderful model of our Solar system. Students learned a lot about it with lots of fun and joy.

Paper Universe is made by students of Primary school ‘Toplicki heroji’, Zitoradja (Pejkovac), Serbia.