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This activity begins with an illustration showing four boxes opened flat and decorated with two-dimensional ribbon patterns. Each box pattern shows a ribbon crossing several sides of the box. Students are asked to decide which of the patterns can be folded into a box that has a ribbon running continuously around it. The activity, part of the Figure This! collection of math challenges, notes that visualizing three-dimensional objects from drawings or plans is important in the work of architects, designers, and physicians. Students are encouraged to approach this problem by drawing the patterns on pieces of paper and trying to fold the patterns into boxes. In related questions, students are asked to estimate how much ribbon would be required to tie boxes of different dimensions. Answers to all questions and links to resources are included. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse
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