Assembly of a Starball
starball This "starball" requires 30 modules. The origami design is by David Mitchell, U.K. and can be found in The Complete Book of Papercrafts, Anness Publishing Limited 1998.

This shape consists of 12 pentagons and 20 triangles. Its proper name is an icosidodecahedron, but we'll still refer to it as a starball.

  • Start by connecting two modules together by inserting the point of one into the pocket of another.
two connected modules
  • Now connect three more modules to the two in step one and close them to form a pentagon.
pentagon of connected modules
  • At each side of the pentagon, add a module to form a triangle. Do this for every side of the pentagon. Continue building in this fashion so that every side of each triangle is a side of a pentagon and vice versa. The shape will automatically curve so that it closes up with 30 modules.
building triangles off the sides of the pentagon
We made this starball with three different colors of paper for the modules. In its construction we were able to connect the modules so that no color connected to another module of the same color. This is called three-coloring. See if you can do it.
  • How many modules of each color will you use?
  • Does there have to be the same number of each color or not?
  • Could you do it in two colors? Why or why not?

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