Betsy Ross Star | Pensacola MESS Hall

Betsy Ross Star

This five pointed star is an example of a fold-and-cut template. Many other examples have been known in history. However, in 1960, Martin Gardner asked what the range of shapes that can be created is. In 1998, Erik Demaine proved that any shape with straight sides can be made by folding a sheet of paper and making only one cut.

According to legend, Betsy Ross suggested to George Washington that the stars on the new American flag should have five points. When he suggested that would be too difficult, she demonstrated the fold-and-cut method, which is why the stars on the flag today are pentagrams.

What is a Mess Kit?

Mess Kits are single-serving experiments that allow kids to explore scientific concepts at their own pace. Visitors are encouraged to complete as many as they want! See all Mess Kits.