Friday, May 23, 2014

My First MexiHexaFlexagon

At the high school I work the seniors' last day of school was May 13th, but the rest of the student body is in session until June 2nd.  I had seventy-two students spread across three different Calculus classes, but sixty-two of them have graduated.

What does one do with ten juniors spread across three different class periods for the better part of three weeks?  Heck, these ten all took the AP Calculus exam and each one of them probably scored higher than I did when I was hitting the books.  I had to channel my creative side to keep them entertained.

Well, we've done an assortment of entertaining math-related activities, but my favorite will be what I'm about to attempt later today.

It all started my watching a youtube video about the hexaflexagon, which lead to a video about the mexihexaflexagon. If you have 5 minutes, you should really check out the first link.  Personally, I find it to be a pretty entertaining video.  But, then again, I am a self-proclaimed math nerd.

No surprise that my students want to try to make mexihexaflexagon in class.  Who am I to argue?

Wednesday night I needed something for dinner.  Experimentation time!

First, I created a template:
 I had to take two tortilla strips and "glue" them together to attain the desired length.  Don't worry, scoring the tortilla and adding water to it works better then glue.  As you can see, I've already folded my tortilla strips into the triangles required for the hexaflexagon.

I folded my paper template and used it as a guide to help me with completing the tortilla version.

 Time to apply the ingredients!   Refried beans:
 Nacho cheese:

The next step was the hardest: flexing the hexaflexagon so the beans and cheese became folded into the inside!   You see, there are "three sides" to a hexaflexagon: a top, a bottom, and the inside.  When you flex the hexagon the inside becomes one of the exterior pieces.
 I lost a little bit of the ingredients during this step, but you have to crack a few eggs to make an omlette... or something like that.

Into the frying pan it goes!

 Mmmmm... Time to dress it up with sour cream and salsa!

Yep, the similarities to a quesadilla are spot on, but the mexihexaflexagon is certainly messier ... and more fun!
I made a second one for dinner and it turned out much better.  Practice makes perfect.  Plus, I was still hungry.

Wish me luck in class today!

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