Flag this photoSymmetry can be observed everywhere, from architecture to nature. It is the result of exactly similar parts either facing each other or around an axis. Since most biological organisms display some form of symmetry, incorporating science projects about symmetry during a life science course can increase the students' understanding of symmetry. Specific projects should be tailored to the grade level and the comprehension of class members.Related Searches: Introduction to Symmetry
Allow students to identify a number of basic shapes cut out of paper. For example, they can identify a square, triangle, circle, rectangle and parallelogram. Ask students to fold the paper shapes and see if they match up. Students will learn that when certain parts of an object match up, it is symmetrical. Break down the different shapes into which ones are symmetrical and which are not. Use an unframed mirror to continue the experiment of familiar objects and symmetry.
Ask students to hold up objects next to the mirror's edge, with half the object obscured. If the object looks the same when viewed through the mirror, the object is symmetrical. If the object doesn't look right, it isn't considered symmetrical. Allow students to experiment with objects around the classroom and categorize them.Butterfly Wings
Students can learn about symmetry by examining butterfly wings and how they are symmetrical in shape and markings. After reviewing photographs of butterfly wings and studying symmetry, allow the students to take a piece of construction paper. After they fold the paper in half exactly, have them cut out wings that connect at the fold. When they open the wings, allow them to drop three to four small drops of paint on one side of the wings. Students should fold the wings carefully and press down. When they open the wings, they will see that the paint has made a mirror image design and they will have a real-world example of symmetry. The teacher can then guide students to discuss other examples of symmetry in nature.Human Faces
Ask students whether people are symmetrical, particularly a person's face. Scanning front-facing photographs of themselves, teachers, family members or friends into photo manipulation software allows students to cut and splice faces together. If the face is truly symmetrical, the right half matched with the right half in mirror image should look just like the original face. Students can present their findings by comparing the original face to right-spliced faces and left-spliced faces.Fossil Symmetry
Students can learn about different categories of symmetry when studying fossils. Explain the differences between radial, bilateral, pentagonal and asymmetrical. Give students a chance to examine photographs of many different kinds of fossils. Students can then group and categorize the fossil images and even make a chart of their findings.ReferencesPBS Kids: Sid the Science Kid: Searching for SymmetryJVC's Science Fair Projects: Symmetry: Butterfly WingsOswego City School District: Photo Activity for SymmetryScience Olympiad Student Center: Fossil SymmetryPhoto Credit Nicholas Cope/Lifesize/Getty ImagesRead Next: Print this articleCommentsFollow eHowFollow
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