Family Math: Making a Geodesic Dome from Straws
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!