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Family Math: Making a Geodesic Dome from Straws

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The above photos were taken during the creation of a geodesic dome as a family math and science activity over spring break. The dome resembles the dome created in the "Dome Sweet Dome" math Project Idea, but we used straws instead of newspaper, a different assembly process, and threw in some duct tape customization for visual effect.

A model dome like this can be made in any size (as long as you figure out the relative lengths of the struts). This one is pretty big! Getting it in the car was definitely a challenge. The dome didn't weather its time squooshed in the trunk very well—a reminder that inexpensive plastic straws bend and/or crack under too much stress. (Stress-testing the strength of geodesic dome was not really our ultimate goal.)

Building the dome was a great hands-on math exploration project, but it took a good bit of time to work through all the necessary steps to prepare the struts for assembly. Each of my kids enjoyed different aspects of the project, but watching it come together in the end was awesome!



What does your science project or family science activity look like? If you would like to share photos taking during your project (like the photos you may have put on your Project Display Board), we would love to see and possibly showcase your science or engineering investigation here on the Science Buddies blog! Email us at blog@sciencebuddies.org.

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies Summer Science Roundup


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School and family science weekly spotlight: experiment with tonic water and a black light to learn more about fluorescence and light energy!

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Are you a picky eater? Maybe there is a scientific reason for your reluctance to eat certain foods even if you know they are good for you. Find out with a tongue-dyeing taste-testing science project!

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Catch the annual Perseids meteor shower and tie in some fun family astronomy science with an exploration of parallax. How far away are the things we see in the sky?

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School and family science weekly spotlight: make a solar oven from household and recycled materials.

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With different kinds of dried beans, plastic cups, and water, kids can model rocks and observe the way different sized particles in rocks affect how much water a rock can hold.

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Students can experiment with the engineering design process by trying to improve the durability of a simple handheld device.



Your Science!
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