The Moebius Strip
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Arnita Newton Kenwood Academy
5015 Blackstone Avenue
Chicago IL 60615
To investigate mathematical patterns using the Moebius Strip.
Strips of paper 10 inches long and 2 inches wide. Adding machine tape,
construction paper or graph paper. Allow 10 strips for each student.
Markers or colored pencils optional. Students will also need Scotch "Magic"
tape and scissors.
Students are asked to examine their strips of paper to determine that each strip
has two edges and two sides. Students are told to make a loop, turn one end
over (in a half-twist) and tape the ends together. Make a second loop without
Students are asked to draw a lengthwise line in the center of each strip,
continuing until they reach their starting point. Students will report all of
Students will note that their pencils never crossed over the edge. This surface
does not have a top and a bottom or a front and a back. Instruct students to
cut the Moebius strip along the line they drew. Ask students, "What did you
get, how many sides does it have, how many half-twists does it have?"
Students are asked to make another Moebius strip and cut along a path that is
about one-third of the distance from one edge to the other. Describe the
results. Other Moebius strips may be constructed in the same way, cutting one-
fourth of the way in and cutting one-sixth of the way in. Students are asked
to describe their results after cutting each strip.
Students are encouraged to investigate strips with different numbers of half-
twists, cutting each strip down the middle as they did with the first Moebius
Make a Moebius strip and draw lines to divide it in thirds lengthwise. Shade
the middle third. Cut along the edge of the shaded third. Describe your
The Moebius Strip is an interesting topological figure. The investigation also
provides a good exercise in having students derive a generalization from their