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This activity challenges students to fold a sheet of paper to create a business-size envelope in a way that wastes as little paper as possible. The activity, part of the Figure This! collection of 80 challenges emphasizing real-world uses of mathematics, introduces tessellations and explains how they are used to manufacture containers efficiently. Students are encouraged to begin the challenge by examining the pattern of an unfolded business envelope. Related questions ask students to consider the shapes used in making paper ice cream cone sleeves and the cardboard core of toilet paper rolls. Answers to all questions and links to resources are included. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse
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