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Why origami?

Origami is an essential tool in the exploration of mathematics and science. Origami demonstrates, in a very concrete way, the fact that simple shapes develop into complex patterns.

You will see this over and over again in nature. Origami lets you bring it to your kitchen table.

It begins with a square, one of the simplest of geometric shapes, and it ends...well, it doesn't. You can make anything with origami.

Origami forms differ in complexity...young children can make the simplest forms. Complex constructions may require many years of practice and skill.

We've only just begun our own explorations of origami, so I offer just a few resources for getting started.

If you see a general ad for Amazon, please refresh this page and the proper book information, including price, should appear.

Fun With Easy Origami : 32 Projects and 24 Sheets of Origami Paper
ISBN: 0486274802, Published by Dover.

This great kit from Dover is perfect for the beginner. Simple projects, clear directions, plenty of paper, and a small price.

Book Description

Perfect introduction to Japanese art of paper folding has everything you need to practice origami: an instructional booklet with clear illustrations showing how to create 32 simple projects (hat, cup, pinwheel, boat, house, fish, other intriguing objects) and 24 sheets of authentic, 7" x 7" origami paper in 12 different colors.

Folding the Universe : Origami from Angelfish to Zen
Peter Engel
ISBN: 0394757513, Published by Vintage, 323 pages.

This book is out-of-print, but I've listed it anyway because it is too good to pass up. The projects are very complex and can probably only be completed by an experienced origami maker. However, the book is a must-have for an entirely different reason.

Folding the Universe explores the history of origami and its relationship to science, mathematics, nature and art. The author discusses creativity, invention, music, patterns, chaos theory and more. This is a really a treasure.

This is an assortment of papers to help you get started

Large Origami Paper : 24 9" X 9" Sheets
ISBN: 0486272958, Published by Dover.

Book Description

Two dozen sheets of authentic origami paper (two each of 12 different colors) for creating fascinating figures, shapes and objects. Easier-to-fold, large-size white-backed sheets help origamists free a multitude of configurations from flat piece of paper.

Origami Paper : 24 Sheets
ISBN: 0486268292, Published by Dover.

Book Description

High-quality Japanese origami paper specially manufactured to resist tears and produce clean lines and crisp folds. Each sheet is colored one side only to make it easier to understand the various folds and a sturdy shrink-wrapped folder keeps papers neat and clean until ready for use.

Animal Prints Origami Paper
ISBN: 0486400298, Published by Dover, 24 pages.

Twenty-four 7"x7" sheets of Origami paper in six different patterns.

Related Resources

Jim Plank's Origami Page (modular)
Instructions for making origami polyhedra.

Joseph Wu's Origami Page
Instructions, patterns, galleries...everything about origami.

Origami Mathematics
An explanation and exploration of the mathematics behind origami.

Teaching Mathematical Thinking Through Origami
"In this paper, we offer general and specific strategies for using activities based on origami to invoke mathematical thinking. Origami refers to the Japanese art of paper folding. Background is given on origami, including the development and critical aspects of the practice of origami in the United States. Next, we indicate how origami can relate to the current goals of K-12 mathematical education."

Paper Airplanes
Tools and resources for making paper airplanes.

Paper Engineering
An introduction to the art and science of building things with paper.

Learn to make your own pop-up books and cards.

Links and resources for exploring these collapsible geometric paper models.

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