Ohio Valley Parent article November 2007
The Christmas season is always associated with snow, but what if it doesn’t snow this Christmas? You can make your own models of snowflakes with simple materials. These works of art will even be the same geometry as real snowflakes! After you have made them you can use them to decorate your windows at home or even your Christmas tree.
Coffee Filter Snowflakes
To make this model of a snowflake, you will need:
1) Several circular coffee filters
2) Sharp scissors
3) Dry, flat surface to fold “snowflakes”
Here is what you will need to do:
1) Flatten and smooth out one coffee filter. It will look like a pizza.
2) Fold the coffee filter in half, like a taco. I’m starting to get hungry!
3) Fold one side of the coffee filter so it “looks like” two equal slices of pizza. This is exactly one third of the “taco” shape.
4) Fold the opposite side over the top of the folded side to make a “one slice of pizza” triangle shape. The edges should line up.
5) Next, fold the “pizza slice” in half. Again, be as exact as you can.
6) Press the folds with your fingers to make the “pizza slice” as flat as possible.
7) Using sharp scissors, cut about 2.5 cm from the point to the end of the open edge (longer open edge). You can also cut small triangles and other shapes on this edge once you make the first cut.
8) Cut the folded side of the “pizza slice” with small triangles, etc.
9) Carefully unfold the snowflake.
10) Flatten it out and admire your beautiful snowflake art!
(If you have trouble with your snowflakes, visit www.smartcenter.org/ovpm/snowflakes for step by step photos).
How many points does your snowflake have? Real snowflakes have six points. All of them do! These snowflakes are also symmetrical. This means that parts of the snowflake are mirror images of each other.
If you are lucky enough to see real snow this holiday season, try the Examining Snowflakes activity from the December 2005 OVPM at www.smartcenter.org
Robert E. Strong is the director of the West Liberty State College SMART-Center, the hands-on science center of the Northern Ohio Valley. Libby Strong is the Program Coordinator at the West Liberty State College SMART-Center and also directs the WV-Handle On Science Program that brings hands-on science kits to the public school classrooms of the Northern Panhandle. Richard Pollack is the assistant program coordinator, webmaster, and technology specialist for the WLSC SMART-Center. Robert, Libby, and Richard invite you to visit the website at www.smartcenter.org