In this activity, students will make learn about snowflakes and design and make their own paper snowflakes. Then their snowflake designs can be photographed and 3D printed.
This is a great activity for late in the autumn term as Christmas approaches as the snowflakes make great Christmas tree decorations, these can be used for displays in school and then students can take their snowflakes home at the end of term. Students could also turn this activity into a business enterprise project by 3D printing batches of snowflakes, tying ribbon loops to them and selling them at the school fair.
Alternatively, you could adapt this project to work at any other time of the year. Year 4 at Quernmore Primary School, ran this project this in Autumn to make an Autumn leaves display, check out their blog post to see how they got on.
The downloadable teacher guide runs through the process of making the paper snowflakes and photographing them. Then it provides a step-by-step tutorial for importing the images into Cura slicing software and preparing the files for 3D printing. the guide also includes a series of cross-curricular ideas for further snowflake topic work.
In The Classroom
This is a perfect practical activity for supporting the mathematics geometry topic. You can use this activity and the paper snowflakes as a stimulus for introducing and exploring symmetry, rotational symmetry, angles and regular hexagons.