August 17th, 2018

Praxis: All about heart and a Mobius strip

By Medicine Hat News on February 10, 2018.

Of course, we all know what “holiday” is coming up this week: Valentine’s Day! For all of us nerds (self-professed of course) out there, how does one celebrate this special day with their loved ones? Well, this week, we are going to take the “m” out of STEM and focus on a math activity that will be sure to please your valentine. Let’s get started!

*Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.

Materials

– pink or red coloured paper

– scissors

– pencil

– tape

– ruler

Procedure

1. Using the ruler, cut a number of strips out of the paper. Try to do different lengths and sizes.

2. You are now going to make a Mobius strip.

3. Take the ends of one of the strips of paper, make a half twist and match up the ends. Tape the ends in place.

4. Take a second piece of paper to make another Mobius strip. Again, take the ends of the strip of paper but this time twist in the opposite direction. This is very important.

5. Tape the Mobius strips together at right angles.

6. Take the scissors and cut one of the strips right down the middle.

7. Repeat with the other strip of paper.

8. You should now have two linked hearts showing how much you love math!

What is going on?

This week, I introduced you to a math activity. We often forget about math when it comes to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). I thought it would be fun to try topology. This is a branch of mathematics that studies properties of space through twisting and stretching objects. As I was investigating further, I found this to be quite an interesting area of study and here I thought it was just pretty cool to do some awesome paper tricks!

You created a Mobius stripby taking the strip of paper giving it a half twist, and joining the ends to form a loop. The Mobius stripis a cylinder or a one-sided nonorientable surface. TheMobius striporMobiusband is a surface with only one side and only one edge. Examine it closely and make some observations.

Another interesting fact: Did you know theMobius stripwas discovered independently by the German mathematicians August FerdinandMobiusand Johann Benedict Listing in 1858?

If you are interested in attending the Regional Science Fair on March 24, don’t forget to preregister. Visit the Praxis website this week for further details.

Patty Rooks is senior scientific consultant at PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community.” Contact Praxis at praxis@praxismh.ca, http://www.praxismh.ca, Tweet or follow us @PraxisMedHat, or friend us on Facebook.

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