Winter Kit Share-out!

I finally got to do a BeauSym program! :slight_smile: I decided to do a deep dive on Friezes and host a 2 hour class. The first hour, we went over the 7 ways to generate friezes and the 2nd hour, we played with what we learned (using, of course, some of the PLIX Winter Kit contents!).

I can’t upload the 3 page document I created or the collection of examples I amassed, but if anyone wants to see them, shoot me an email ( and I will send them to you!

I started off with a short discussion about PLIX (which really interested a couple of the homeschool-mom attendees!) and led into BeauSym. I showed them the BeauSym website and showed them how to use it and encouraged them to play with it at home.
We chatted about what symmetry is and how mathematically complex the concept of ‘symmetry’ gets. I briefly touched on the different symmetry groups (rosette, frieze, wallpaper, and crystallographic) and showed them the rosette, frieze, and wallpaper generators from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

I found a blog by Paula Beardell Krieg called Playful Bookbinding and Paper Works and she did a series on explaining the frieze symmetry group (these are in newest-first order, so you’ll have to scroll through to get to the first in the series). They are an excellent beginner-level guide to this type of symmetry! It certainly helped me understand frieze symmetry better.

I started each participant with a Post-It note pad, a pair of scissors, a sheet of graph paper, and a copy of the PLIX BeauSym zine. I had them each peel off about 8 sheets of the post-its and cut a shape into them (while still stuck together) - this made each square asymmetrical. As we went through each of the 7 ways to generate a frieze, we stopped to practice using our post-it note shapes.

The next step was to play with our new knowledge, so I had set up a play station:

With examples from around the world (Latvia, Africa, Greece, etc)…

And all sorts of fun materials (I was convinced to also get down my box of stamps)…

The sticky shapes did not survive first contact (which was fine!)…

Some interesting pieces of art were created!