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Paper Engineering

Engineering is the intersection of science, math and art.

Paper engineering is no exception, whether you are folding complex origami figures, making paper planes or designing your own pop-up books.

The resources on these pages will help you get started as a paper engineer.

Essential Tools

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The Elements of Pop-Up: A Pop-Up Book for Aspiring Paper Engineers
by David A. Carter, James Diaz
ISBN: 0689822243, Published by Little Simon, 18 pages. Editorial Review

Believe it or not, the first known pop-up element in a book appeared in an astrological manuscript in 1306. During the ensuing centuries, movable mechanics were used in more and more books--but only for adults. In the 1700s a British bookseller came up with the idea of illustrating well-known children's stories with movable flaps of paper. The rest, as they say, is history. Now aspiring paper mechanics (creative engineer-artists who create dimensional and movable books, otherwise known as pop-ups) can learn the how-tos and wherefores of this marvelous craft. From tip-ons to dummies to glue knock-outs, all the intricacies of pop-up production are outlined and explained.

Readers are invited to take apart the sample pop-ups (as long as they promise to put them back together!) to determine exactly how each score folds and where each glue point is. Instructions are somewhat advanced, but the dimensional samples and the step-by-step photographic essay on how a pop-up is made will ease the journey. David Carter and James Diaz have each created many, many pop-up books, and are passionate about their trade. So blow the cobwebs out of the geometry corner of your brain, and get to work! - Emilie Coulter

Making Books That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist, and Turn: Books for Kids to Make
by Gwen Diehn
ISBN: 1579900232, Published by Lark Books, 96 pages.

Card catalog description

Presents instructions for making various kinds of books including those that carry messages across space and time as well as those that save words, ideas, and pictures.

Paper Engineering for Pop-Up Books and Cards
Mark Hiner
ISBN: 0906212499, Published by Parkwest Pubns.

Pop-Up Paper Engineering: Cross-Curricular Activities in Design Engineering Technology, English and Art
Paul Johnson
ISBN: 1850009090, Published by RoutledgeFalmer.

From the Back Cover

There is no area of paper technology more popular with children than pop-up enginnering. This book - the first of its kind - introduces the language of pop-up forms in stage-by-stage practical workshops for teacher and taught. Johnson writes in a lively, accessible style, following each workshop with suggestions for curriculum oriented projects and interrelating paper technology, story writing and art.

Up-Pops: Paper Engineering With Elastic Bands
Mark Hiner
ISBN: 0906212790, Published by Parkwest Pubns.

The Usborne Book of Paper Engineering
Clive Gifford
ISBN: 0746023278, Published by E D C Publications, 32 pages.

Related Resources

Cause and Effect, or Why Your Zebra Fell On Its Face
A few tips and tricks from an art teacher teaching paper engineering to second graders.

Paper Paradise
"Just like plastic, metal and wood, paper is a great way to create models and toys. Paper models typically cost less and you don't have to worry about painting or toxic glues.

If you are new to making models and toys with paper, we've setup a few pages to introduce you to the hobby."

Paper Polyhedra
An extensive guide to making paper polyhedra.

Math Books
Fiction and picture books that include math.

Math Manipulatives and Tools
Hands-on manipulatives and tools for teaching math.

Explore the complex art of paper folding.

Paper Airplanes
Tools and resources for making paper airplanes.

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

Links and resources for exploring these collapsible geometric paper models.

The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple. - S. Gudder

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