CU Science Discovery
K–12 students enrolled in a CU Science Discovery class built and tested 3-D structures using Shrinky Dink plastic and heat lamps to emulate cutting-edge “photo origami” research being conducted in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. The research team is developing a light-controlled approach for “self-assembly” mechanisms in advanced devices based on the same principles used in the Japanese art of paper folding. The ability to transform a flat polymer sheet into a sophisticated, mechanically robust 3-D structure will enable new approaches to manufacturing and design of devices from the microscopic to centimeter scales. The “photo origami” is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation program, which supports interdisciplinary teams working on rapidly advancing frontiers of fundamental engineering research. Pictured is Eric Carpenter, Science Discovery’s Education Designer.