STEM at Home: How Strong is Your HEX?

Did you know hexagons are geometry’s powerlifters? On this episode of Stem At Home we’re going to test the strength of a hexagon as we build a truncated octahedron.

HEX - Stuff you Need - supplies for the project

Step-by-Step Instructions

HEX: Step OneCut 10” of string and tie a knot in each end of the string.


HEX: Step 2Put push pin in one knot on the string and pencil in the other.


HEX: Step 3Put the push pin in your piece of cardboard and use the pencil to draw a circle.


HEX: Step 4Insert pin in to hole and make mark on circle. Move pin around circle from mark to mark.​
(we make this easy to understand in the video).​


HEX: Step 5Use your straight edge to draw out a hexagon from the marks on the circle.


HEX: Step 6Cut out the hexagon with your scissors.


HEX: Step 7Use the edge of the hexagon to draw out a square. Cut out square with scissors.


HEX: Step 8Use the cut-out square and hexagon to draw the pattern for your truncated octahedron on a poster board (don’t worry, we’ve got the pattern here for you to reference).


HEX: Step 9Once you have cut out the complete pattern, use your straight edge to bend the corners.


HEX: Step 10Use tape to hold together your truncated octahedron.


HEX: Step 11Break out some thick science books and see how much your hexagon can hold.

Your instructor: Kevin Beck

Lenovo "Explainer of Things" Kevin Beck

A life-long science geek, Kevin is also the Resident Explainer of Things at Lenovo, which means he breaks down complex technology into simple subjects the rest of us can understand. Kevin currently lives in North Carolina with his wife.

Congrats on building your truncated octahedron. We hope you enjoyed learning about the strength of hexagons, a shape that informs our design process every day! Be sure to share yours #StemAtHome. 


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