The Shapes and Symmetry of Origami

Our STEM Educator, Angel Kilyan, shows us the steps to make a simple origami swan.

For this project, you’ll need square paper. You can cut paper into a square shape or use special origami paper if you have it. Napkins are often squares, did you know you can use them to make origami, too?

Fold your square so that one corner meets the opposite corner. Your paper should look like a triangle now.

Open your square back up. You’ve made a guide line. Position your paper so that one of the corners with a crease is pointing towards yourself. Take the corners on the horizontal plane and fold them to the guideline. You are making a kite shape. Flip your kite over so that the folds are facing down.

Take the outer two corners of your kite and fold them to the center crease, just like you did on the other side. Next, take the tail or point of your kite shape and bring it to the top point – folding it in half. Bend back the tail so it’s now pointing up.

Fold your whole project in half along your very first crease. Gently lift the your former tail.


The Science Behind the Art

Origami is the ancient art of paper folding. It focuses on creating symmetry and using the shapes and angles in geometry. Today scientists are applying the principles of origami to create structures that can fold and fit into tight spaces. Read more about that here!


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