Friday, October 24, 2014

Bear Den/Cave (Geodesic Dome)

During our Architecture Unit, we built a Geodesic Dome out of newspaper, and it was one of our favorite activities. It was also one of those activities where you get better at it as you go along, and by the time it was all built we were convinced we could make it even stronger and nicer if we just started over. So we vowed to do the activity again sometime, and my mom saved newspapers for us.

This Bear Unit seemed like a great opportunity to finally revisit the geodesic dome, since we could cover it with blankets and use it as a bear den!
Original instructions for the dome are here. This time we used three sheets of newspaper for each strut (as opposed to two last time), which seemed to make them a lot sturdier. We also used pencils or chopsticks to roll the tubes around (pulling the pencils out once the tubes were rolled) and keep them nice and thin. And we connected our joints with a flatter tape formation, as above. The joints are really the trickiest part, since they tend to collapse at stress points. Last time we tried staples to make them stronger, but that didn't work too well. We still had a few that seemed weak, but the wide, flat tape-joint seemed to work better.
The bears loved their cozy home!
After we covered it with sheets and blankets to make it nice and snug, we talked about hibernation and bear cubs inside this "den," and spent lots of time just cuddling and reading Bear books and playing Bear. Very fun!


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