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Origami Inspiration
A Reading Comprehension Passage by Common Core Texts

Origami is the ancient art of paper-folding. It begins with a single sheet of thin paper. By folding the paper, the origami artist turns the flat sheet into a three-dimensional sculpture. Popular origami figures include cranes, swans, butterflies, flowers, and stars.

Recently, however, origami has become more than just a fun pastime. Scientists are now using this ancient art to come up with inventive solutions to tricky problems. One example is the heart stent. Many people with heart problems are given stents, which improve the blood flow to their hearts. A stent is a small tube that is inserted into a clogged artery. Once it is inserted, it is expanded, causing the artery to open wider and allow more blood to flow through. Scientists have used origami techniques to create thinner heart stents. These new heart stents are easier to insert into a patient’s artery and expand more widely once placed inside.

Technology on space stations is now being designed using origami techniques as well. Space stations use energy from the sun to power their equipment. As a result, they need large solar panels that can also fold up to a fraction of their size. By studying origami techniques, engineers have been able to create better solar panel designs. These solar panels fold up smaller and open up wider than older designs.

It is fascinating to see how ancient artistic techniques can be used to improve the latest technologies. In a world where computers and other technology are constantly becoming smaller, origami is sure to continue being a source of inspiration for scientists and engineers.


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