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Solidly Platonic

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Solidly Platonic

In this activity, learners follow simple directions to explore and create platonic solids. Learners count the number of faces, edges, and vertices in the structures they make out of paper and look for patterns, which they'll discover can be defined by Euler's formula.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Card stock or other heavy paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Shape templates


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
      • Patterns
      • Variables and Expressions
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
      • Solid Geometry
    • Representation

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Common Core State Standards for Mathematics:

  • CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.B.4: Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/"corners") and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).(more info about this benchmark)
  • CCSS.Math.Content.2.G.A.1: Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces. Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.(more info about this benchmark)
  • CCSS.Math.Content.3.G.A.1: Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.(more info about this benchmark)

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Yu, Julie


  • All Rights Reserved, Exploratorium, ©2007

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0610238
  • National Science Foundation, 0925383


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