4.1 based on 7 ratings

Updated on Mar 17, 2010



Grade Level

9 & up

Difficulty Level




Safety Issues


Material Availability

All necessary materials are readily available.

Project Time Frame

6-8 weeks.


This project looks at the geometry of origami.

The goals of this project are:

  1. To outline the practical applications of particular origami folding techniques.
  2. To encourage the development of new uses for these techniques.

  • Computer with internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/craft/hobby supplies (paper, pens & poster-board, glue, etc.)

All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay.


Origami is an ancient Japanese art form that’s wildly popular among the arts & crafts crowd.But most of us don’t realize that techniques used in standard origami folding have aided the design and development of light aircraft, solar panel arrays, and other technological wonders.Here we look at the elements of origami that are of particular interest to mathematicians and mechanical engineers, among others.

Research Questions
  1. Where & when did origami originate?
  2. How is origami used in disciplines other than art?
  3. How else can origami techniques be applied technologically?
Terms and Concepts to Start Background Research
  • Origami
  • Geometry

  1. Research related materials (see bibliography below)
  2. Search and print out images of complex origami creations that interest you.
  3. Make many origami creations of your own.
  4. Develop your own original real-world application for any origami folding technique.
  5. Sketch your ideas.
  6. Invent your own original origami creation, or improve on an existing one.
  7. Write instructions (with diagrams) for your creation.
  8. Carefully explain your methods in a detailed report.
  9. Include origami creations in your science fair display.
  10. Show interesting photos taken throughout the course of the project.


Wiki topic:Origami

Wiki article:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_of_paper_folding

http://www.paperfolding.com/math/ (Origami & Math)

Internet searches of your own choosing:Search for any of the terms listed above (or make up your own phrases to search), and click on any results that interest you.Have fun surfing the net!

Judee Shipman is a Bay Area Educational Consultant and professional writer of quality educational materials. Her recent writing credits include Top50States.com (a popular and entertaining website about states), and a book called The Portable Chess Coach (Cardoza, 2006), currently available in stores.

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