Beautiful Discovery is a monthly STEAM subscription for kids ages 9 and up. Each kit uses visually and kinesthetically engaging patterns of nature aimed to instill a sense of wonder. Subscribers will also get access to science-oriented games, drag-and-drop block code, stories, and art activities, and also includes fascinating lessons for adults or teens. It’s $35 per month plus shipping.
I’m excited to check out all the items inside the box!
The items were wrapped with yellow tissue paper.
This looks like a challenging box!
Everything in my box!
The booklet is sealed with a paper with words “CONFIDENTIAL decoding secrets”.
We also received this letter that tells us everything we need to know about our box.
Here’s an overview of our Buckyball and Golden Spiral of Squares activities!
Activity 1: Buckyball. We received a flat pattern for making our own Buckyball. If you’re wondering why it is called Buckyball, it’s because this is named after the scientist who discovered it, Buckminster Fuller.
Here’s a structure that is not a regular polyhedra. Like a dodecahedron, it has 12 pentagons. However, each pentagon is surrounded by hexagons. Because it made up of more than one kind of polygon, it is not “regular” and not as symmetrical. Thus, not quite simple to put together as a Platonic solid. Yet, it is still remarkably symmetrical and very sphere-like.
My kids carefully read the instructions for the activity.
We cut the pattern from the sheet and then folded it into a ball.
It’s almost done and we just need tape to secure the edges in their places. This has the same geometry as a soccer ball and that’s why it looked familiar!
Activity 2: Golden Spiral of Squares. We also received these papers in different sizes for the Golden Spiral of Squares activity.
As instructed in the sheet, we put the smallest square on a surface, then line it up with the slightly larger square so that the curves connect. Here’s the explanation from the info sheet they provided:
Each square is larger than the previous adjacent square by a factor of the golden ratio (the length of each square is 1.6180…. times the length of the neighboring square). This forms a rectangle whose ratio of length to width is the golden ratio, making it a “Golden Rectangle”.
My daughter is amazed at how a fractal (never-ending pattern) works!
Activity 3: Golden Rectangles in the Icosahedron. The next activity is still about golden rectangles but this time, we’ll find them in the icosahedron.
The first step is to intersect the provided golden triangles, perpendicular to each other. Each piece should cut through the middle of the others.
After forming the rectangles, it’s time to put them in the icosahedron. This is for us to see that the corners of the golden rectangles touch the 12 corners (vertices) of an icosahedron.
Activity 4: Other Kinds of Symmetry. We get to know about other kinds of symmetry in the provided paper. There are also links that we can check to learn more about the topics!
For this part of the activity, they included a shell that we can inspect. This is an example of a logarithmic spiral.
At the back, we can notice that the shell has a pattern because the radius grows geometrically.
My daughter inspected the patterns on our shell closely.
She also checked the link provided on the information sheet to learn more!
It has a lot of tabs and topics we can choose from. The colors also caught the attention of my kids!
Using this website, we can also interact with and customize our own patterns!
A preview is also available to check the patterns we are trying to make.
There are also tips while doing activities!
This part of the booklet discusses how 3D patterns are made using 2D shapes.
Activity 5: Icosahedron & dodecahedron. For this activity, they provided patterned papers that we can use to form an icosahedron and a dodecahedron.
There’s another link provided in the booklet, and we checked it to learn more about polygons, circles, and spirals. The programming were really useful since my kids could visualize the lessons in the box! Plus, there was a link to copy code right into Scratch!
My kids made a 3D icosahedron using this flat fold!
The back of the sheet also has a note, similar to what was explained earlier.
The icosahedron will have 12 corners when completed. The 12 corners of 3 intersecting golden rectangles (4 x 3) each touch one of this icosahedron’s 12 corners.
My daughter carefully cut the pattern and then started to fold it accordingly!
My daughter did it! It’s a perfect 3D representation of an icosahedron!
Now, it’s time to make a 3D model of a dodecahedron!
We received these gold flats patterns for the dodecahedron.
Here, my son is trying to meet the sides of the two halves of our dodecahedron.
He’s proudly showing his finished 3D model!
Activity 6: Drawing Lesson. It’s time to do some artwork. My kids tried to draw a fluorite octahedron for this activity!
There’s a step by step guide on how we can properly draw our subject and they included photos for the kids to understand it better.
With this activity, they are also aiming to teach kids the importance of looking deeply.
The box included crystals that we can use for the activity. They have different colors so we can compare them and find a suitable model for our drawing.
The other materials they provided are tape, colored pencils, and a sharpener.
My daughter started with the crystal before doing the shadow.
She used the picture as a reference as well.
Her drawing turned out great. My daughter loves doing artworks and she enjoyed this activity!
Beautiful Discovery Box lived up to its name! My kids indeed discovered beautiful things in this month’s box, including patterns found in nature and objects that represent symmetry. All the science and art-related activities are engaging and my kids had fun making the 3D models – they LOVED this box. The subscription even gave us access to a platform where kids can create patterns to help them visualize the discussed concepts! It’s truly a beautiful, unique, hands-on subscription and we love it!
What do you think of this box?