The Pop-Up Book challenge is the brainchild of tech ed teacher, Ed Goldman, from Brooklyn Tech HS. With this 6-8 week activity, students engage in "paper engineering" while learning about the mechanisms and techniques that can render a set of bound pages and display them as 3-D shapes that move when the page is opened. Students' projects must include a minimum number of paper engineering elements, use principles of aesthetics they learn, and tell a coherent story. In 2004, students' final presentations were done in the context of a "book trade show". Each student and his/her team gave presentations on their creations to a group of visitors from outside the classroom. They talked about their design process, topics that they researched, the quality of their groups' collaborative work, and key design decisions they made. Watch Movie 1 to see how they did all this explaining while showing off different pages of their books.
Strengths of this design activity are many. Paper as a building material is low-cost and familiar to students. Most students have seen pop-up books previously, but still need to learn how their paper mechanisms work. Pop-up books can also be the subject of lessons in mathematics and physical science, especially when students study of mechanical advantage. View or print out copies of the challenge description of the Pop-up Book Challenge by clicking the icon or title below: