Quantcast
Schools

Webster Hill Did It: Origami Butterfly Sets Guinness World Record

The West Hartford elementary school was notified that it had indeed set a new record for the world’s largest origami butterfly.

As Webster Hill 5th graders in March 2015, Annie Lopez-Lopez (left) and Amy Ni folded what is the new Guinness World Record largest origami butterfly. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (file photo)

As Webster Hill 5th graders in March 2015, Annie Lopez-Lopez (left) and Amy Ni folded what is the new Guinness World Record largest origami butterfly. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (file photo)

By Ronni Newton

When Webster Hill Elementary School fifth-grade students Amy Ni and Annie Lopez-Lopez folded a 7.3-meter Kraft paper square into an origami butterfly in the school’s gym back on March 11, 2015, they were hopeful that the feat had actually set a new Guinness World Record.

The students’ accomplishment, which was overseen by math tutor Madelyn Filomeno and physical education teacher Eileen Shahverdian and verified through measurements by a certified land surveyor, official witness statements, 106 photographs and video, was reviewed by Guinness World Records of London, England and officially confirmed this month. The origami butterfly’s official measurements are documented at 4.36 by 3.29 meters.

The idea for an enormous origami creation was originally sparked not by a desire to break a world record, however, but rather by as an exercise of “Math in Motion” at Webster Hill’s Family Math Night several years ago.

One of the features of Family Math Night spotlights students’ creative ways of solving math problems. “We have seen such wonderful expressions of math in very non-conventional ways, including songs, puppets, posters, poems, games, and now origami,” Filomeno, one of the founding members of Math in Motion, said in a news release. “Origami is inherently rich in math concepts, vocabulary, prepositions, 3-D imagery, symmetry, prioritization of accuracy, and the list goes on and on,” Filomeno said. “Students had so much fun and were so focused, they did not know they were learning!”

Shahverdian infused the art of origami into her physical education lessons as well. Many students, including future record folders Ni and Lopez-Lopez, joined the origami club and spent some of their recess time working on the art.

“We felt that starting with these sectional pieces of symmetry, we could reinforce fraction concepts and math vocabulary. We allowed the students to problem solve and evolve freely through their own experiences with math,” said Shahverdian in the release.

The two students, who are now sixth-graders at Sedgwick Middle School, honed their skills by creating small butterflies and then worked on crafter larger and larger butterflies before taking on the world record. “We started small, and there are a trail of butterflies all around the school,” Filomeno said at the folding back in March. “It’s a lot of work, a lot of steps. This was a learning process for them, fractions and more,” she said.

Filomeno felt the exercise would be record-setting even if it wasn’t accepted by Guinness because of the interest and excitement surrounding the project.

“We were so proud of the problem solving skills and discipline used by our students to continue to work on this record for over two years. They had to practice, learn, develop, fail, re-fold, and try again and again until they finally secured the record. Their dedication and hard work was inspirational. Whether they did or did not obtain the world record was not as important as the problem solving they gained as a result of experience,” Filomeno said in the release.

“Congratulations to Webster Hill Elementary School for this world record, for changing the way math can be thought of, but more importantly, for cultivating passion, confidence and self-motivation in our students’ learning!,” Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore said in the release.

Those involved in helping set and verify the world record creation include school custodian Mike Johnson and teacher assistant Greg Staley who carefully pieced together the sections of Kraft paper to create the giant square. Land surveyor Peter Woelk and Surveyor Assistant David Flynn measured the paper before and after the fold. Expert witnesses included origami specialists Julie Phillips and Dori Melowicz, engineers Dan Gilmour and Julie Vera, public notary Susan Rheaume and public relations specialist Renée McCue who videotaped the process.

Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!

From left: Math tutor Madelyn Filomeno, Annie Lopez-Lopez, Amy Ni, and physical education teacher Eileen Shahverdian. Submitted photo

From left: Math tutor Madelyn Filomeno, Annie Lopez-Lopez, Amy Ni, and physical education teacher Eileen Shahverdian. Submitted photo

The world's largest origami butterfly measures 4.36 by 3.29 meters. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (file photo)

The world’s largest origami butterfly measures 4.36 by 3.29 meters. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (file photo)

Superintendent Tom Moore holds the official certificate from Guinness World Record. Submitted photo

Superintendent Tom Moore holds the official certificate from Guinness World Record. Submitted photo

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  •  
  •  
  •   

About the author

We-Ha

We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected]

Leave a Comment

Translate »