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Flexagons Galore: Advanced Flexagon Fun

Learn a systematic approach to making, flexing, and exploring a vast number of flexagons using paper as well as flexagon software.

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Flexagons Galore: Advanced Flexagon Fun

Challenge your maths skills through the magical art of paper folding

Flexagons are twisted strips of folded paper which reveal their properties when flexed.

On this course, you’ll learn how to build flexagons ‘bottom-up’ and explore how this approach can significantly increase the number of flexagons that you’re able to build.

You’ll discover a tool created by Scott Sherman which will allow you to make an infinite number of flexagons and explore flexagon diagrams.

You’ll also learn how to create flexagon mazes, meet Ann Schwartz’s mind-boggling straight-strip flexagons, and even learn about Yossi Elran’s art of destroying flexagons.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds A mathematician is an adventurer, an explorer in an imaginary world full of secrets, equipped only with an inquisitive mind, and a twinkle in his eye. Hello and welcome to our new course on flexagons, brought to you by the Davidson Institute of Science Education, the educational arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. It’s our job to bring math and science to the public, and that’s what I hope to do together with you in this Future Learn course. Why are we doing is another course on flexagons? First - I love them! Second - many new discoveries over the last few years, have revolutionised the way we think about these fantastic mathematical objects. and this will be reflected in the course.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds To make things easy, we will assume that you have no prior knowledge, so you don’t need to take our first course before you do this one. Let’s go! Click join now, Join me on a fantastic journey into the wonderful world of\ flexagons.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Introduction and first glimpse of flexagons

    • Introduction. Who are we and what do we want?

      This activity is for us to get to know each other and set the stage for the course.

    • The book flex and its associated flexagons

      In this activity we will make and study three non-cyclic flexagons that can be folded and then flexed using the “book flex”.

  • Week 2

    Pinch flexagons

    • The pinch flex, the tri-hexa-flexagon and the tetra-octa-flexagon

      In this activity we will fold and pinch flex, the fundamental tri-hexa flexagon and the tetra-octa-flexagon.

    • The hexa-hexa-flexagon

      In this activity we will explore the hexa-hexa-flexagon.

  • Week 3

    Flexagons, flex by flex

    • Scott Sherman’s flexagon notation

      In this activity we’ll learn the basics of the language that Scott Sherman created for flexagons

    • Prime flexes

      In this activity, we learn three, new, fundamental flexes: the flip flex, the twist flex and the tuck flex.

  • Week 4

    Advanced flexes

    • More flexes

      In this activity we’ll learn two advanced flexes

    • Composite flexes

      In this activity we will learn about composite flexes

    • Week summary

      In this activity you’ll be able to see how well you’ve learnt all the flexes and reflect on this week’s learning.

  • Week 5

    Flexagon exploration

    • Flexagonator

      Creating flexagons using flexagon language and Scott Sherman's flexagonator program.

    • Ann Schwartz’s approach to flexagons

      In this activity we’ll learn about an experimentalists approach to flexagons.

  • Week 6

    Les Pooks approach to flexagons and flexagon fun

    • Les Pook's approach to flexagons - and connecting the dots

      In this activity we’ll take a look at Les Pook's approach to flexagons and connect the dots of the flexagon theories to give us a coherent picture.

    • Fun with flexagons

      In this activity, we’ll look at flexagon puzzles and mazes, and take a look at Yossi’s art of destroying flexagons

    • Course summary

      We finish the course with a final test and some reflection on what we've gone through…

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Fold and flex multiple flexagons
  • Understand Les Pook’s flexagon jargon
  • Understand flexagon diagrams
  • Invent flexagon puzzles and share them with the community
  • Explore flexagons using Scott Sherman’s flexagonator program and computer language

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who enjoys being creative, solving puzzles, folding paper, and revealing hidden maths.

It will be helpful for teachers who are looking for material for enrichment programs, and also for flexagon lovers, math magicians and anyone curious about the connection between paper-folding and maths.

If you’d like an introduction to flexagons, join Flexagons and the math behind twisted paper.

What software or tools do you need?

To get the most from this course, it is beneficial to: Have access to a printer. Throughout the course, you’ll have the chance to practice making lots of flexagons using two-sided, colored templates. Learners on this course will be provided with a link to download free flexagon templates to print off.

In week 1, Learners will also be provided with an optional link to purchase a Flexagon template booklet. However, this is NOT a requirement for participation in this course. Please note: timescales for delivery of the booklet in the post will differ internationally.

It is possible for learners to pass the assessments within this course without using the Flexagon templates, but Learners are strongly encouraged to use them.

Who will you learn with?

I'm a recreational mathematician and metagrobologist and head our institute's technology in education unit. I have a Ph.D. in theoretical quantum chemistry, and think math and science are really cool!

Who developed the course?

Davidson Institute of Science Education at the Weizmann Institute of Science

The Weizmann Institute of Science is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary basic research institutions in the natural and exact sciences. The Davidson Institute of Science Education is the educational arm of the Weizmann Institute.

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