User login

Paper Cutting

Source Institutions

    Miami Science Museum

Add to listGo to activity
Paper Cutting

In this activity about scale, learners investigate the world of the very small by cutting a 28 centimeter strip of paper in half as many times as they can. If learners could cut the strip of paper in half 31 times, they would end up with a piece of paper the size of an atom! This activity guide includes a chart that compares each cut with relative sizes of everyday things we can see like an eye and poppy seed and things too small to see like bacteria and light waves.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 strip of paper 28 centimeters long (11" inches)
  • 1 pair of scissors


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Elementary Particles and Nuclear Physics


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Little, Carlyn; LaHart, David; Meyers, Ted; Weisblat, Brooks


  • All Rights Reserved, Museum of Science, Inc. (Miami, FL), ©1997

Funding Source:

  • Unisys


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists: