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Science tricks (#4)

The Miura Ori origami fold is a way of folding a flat sheet in one motion. This is a simplified version that I first saw showcased on the website. After a little bit of trigonometry I figured out the required sizes to make this work. The link below is an A4 sheet with the folds marked but intentionally left blank so you can decorate it yourself.

Toilet roll towers

The cylindrical shape can support a surprising amount of weight. When sandwiched between two wooden boards, my whole weight can be supported by just 6 toilet rolls. In the photo above my daughter is modelling the setup. The thing you need to be careful with to avoid a collapse is lowering the person (or yourself) gently down onto the centre of the board.

Ascending Mount Everest

We're self isolating at the moment but I wanted to set a physical challenge. As a family we're climbing Mount Everest but from the comfort of our home.

It's going to take us each 22 climbs of the stairs, everyday until the end of August. Less time if we're more strenuous.

Calculating this, or a similar adventure challenge, is a good maths challenge. I started by measuring the height of the stairs then used that to work out how many ascents it would take to get to the top of Everest. Then divided that by the number of days I wanted the expedition to last.

I'd love to know what challenge you set yourselves.

Joseph's machines
In an earlier video I shared the OK Go videos. Joseph's Machines is another family favourite with his ridiculously over engineered contraptions. Many hours of amazement can be found here:

I hope you have fun trying out these activities I'm sending over. Do let me know how you get on. I'd love to see photos and videos. Plus hear any suggestions for future emails. Do keep sharing these resources.

Matt Pritchard 

Science Magic Shows

Newlands Road, Birmingham
United Kingdom

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