# How to Make an Element Ball for School

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School chemistry teachers sometimes use an element ball project with students to emphasize a particular element’s characteristics. An element ball is actually an icosahedron, which is a ball with 20 triangular flat faces. Each face contains a fact about the element. In addition, making the icosahedron helps teach students some geometry in the process. Each element ball can be assigned to an individual student or group of students. Element balls can be made from basic school supplies.

### Things You'll Need

• Compass
• Thin cardboard
• Ruler
• Plain paper
• Scissors
• Markers
• Stapler
• Staples
• Draw two identical small circles on thin cardboard using a compass. A recycled cereal box is good for this. Keep the circles small for ease of assembly, but not too small. A radius of 3 inches makes a good size. These circles will become your templates. Cut out the circles.

• Measure the radius of one of the circles. Draw a line the same length of the radius inside one of the circles with both ends touching the arc of the circle. Draw five more radii inside the circle, connecting them end to end to form a hexagon inside the circle.

• Draw lines connecting every other inner angle of the hexagon. These three lines form an equilateral triangle. Cut out this triangle. Now you have a triangular template and a circular template.

• Trace the circular template onto plain paper 20 times. Trace the triangular template inside each of the 20 circles. Cut out all the circles.

• Write one fact about the element the element ball is about inside the triangle on the front of each circle.

• Fold each circle along the lines of the triangle toward the front of the paper. Crease the lines well.

• Place five of the triangles face up in a circle with points meeting in the middle of the circle. Staple the folded flaps together to form half the element ball, matching up the straight edges of the triangles exactly. Repeat to make the bottom of the element ball.

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• Staple a string to the inside of the top half and thread it through the points of the triangles so you can hang the element ball when it is finished.

• Place the remaining 10 triangles face down in a straight line with points alternating up and down. Staple their flaps together.

• Form the line of triangles into a ring with the writing facing out and staple the end flaps together.

• Put the top half of the element ball on top of the ring and staple the corresponding flaps together. Turn the ball over and staple on the bottom half. Now your element ball is ready to be suspended from a ceiling.

## References

• Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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