Origami paper cup From paper folding to data analysis and algebraic explorations

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Lingguo Bu
Harvey Henson


We present the case of an origami paper cup and its extensions to data collection, analysis, and dimensional reasoning in K--12 teacher education, featuring the integration of GeoGebra.  The paper cup case has been implemented numerous times in our K--12 mathematics methods classes, targeting a variety of issues of mathematics teaching and learning---multiple representations, mathematical discourse, intuitive perceptions, rational reasoning, data analysis, as well as hands-on engagement and ownership.  To implement the instructional tasks, we need an adequate supply of commercial or self-made origami paper, copy paper of various sizes, and a few pounds of pinto beans or similar beans that are safe for classroom use as well as access to GeoGebra.

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Author Biographies

Lingguo Bu, Southern Illinois University -- Carbondale

Lingguo Bu, lgbu@siu.edu, is a Professor of Mathematics Education at Southern Illinois University -- Carbondale in the School of Education. He is interested in multimodal STEM modeling and simulations in the context of K–16 mathematics education and teacher development, including the integration of GeoGebra and 3D design and printing.

Harvey Henson, Southern Illinois University -- Carbondale

Harvey Henson, henson@siu.edu, is an Associate Professor of Science Education in the School of Education and of Geology in the School of Earth Systems & Sustainability at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Henson is Interim Director of the STEM Education Research Center at SIUC, and his research interests include STEM education and leadership, applied geophysics, and STEM assessment.