Inspired by the Photo-Origami project at CU’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, this module uses unique design opportunities to help learners develop understandings of electromagnetic energy, energy transformations, change in physical systems and the relationships between scientific and engineering inquiry practices. Using science practices, teams will explore the nature of thermal and photoactive polymers and conduct a series of experiments to discover how and why they work. Using new knowledge gained from experimenting with these polymers, and their visual/spatial skills, learners will design, build, test and refine models of heat-activated, self-assembling structures.
Key Concepts: Electromagnetic Energy, Energy Transformations, Absorption, Physical Change, Design, Engineering and Science Inquiry Processes and Polymers
Our Partners and Sponsors:
The CU Boulder Photo-Origami Research Project
The CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science
The CU Boulder Materials Science and Engineering Program
National Science Foundation Website for the Photo-Origami Project
Related News and Press Resources
- CU Outreach and Engagement Photo-Origami Press Release
- Science Discovery’s Photo-Origami program featured on NPR’s Here and Now
- Science Discovery’s Photo-Origami program featured on CPR’s Colorado Matters
- Heat lamp assembly kit
- Heat lamp bulb
- Rough and Ready Shrinky Dinks
- Printable Graphix Shrink Film
- Graphix Plastics Shrink Film (low-cost)
Photo-Origami: Bending and Folding Polymers with Light (The scientific paper behind our photo-origami experiments and activities.)
3D Printing Resources and Pre-Printed Polymer Sheet Files
- If you would like the original SketchUp Drawing files to modify, please contact Eric Carpenter via email.
- Photo-Origami pre-printed sheet (.doc format)
- What is 4D printing?
- 4D Printing Ted Talk
- SketchUp 3D/4D Design and Printing Lesson Plan for Photo-Origami/Shape Memory Polymer Pyramid