High Schoolers Create Amazing Q-Ball

What is made of 2040 compact discs, 3420 brass fasterners, all assembled on a spherical aluminum frame nine feet in diameter? The amazing Q-Ball, of course! It all began one clement afternoon in Quincy High School's Creative Problem Solving Course (CPSC). Brainchild of Dr. Sandra Spalt Fulte, the CPSC was designed for high school seniors […]

What is made of 2040 compact discs, 3420 brass fasterners, all assembled on a spherical aluminum frame nine feet in diameter? The amazing Q-Ball, of course! It all began one clement afternoon in Quincy High School's Creative Problem Solving Course (CPSC). Brainchild of Dr. Sandra Spalt Fulte, the CPSC was designed for high school seniors who had already taken calculus as juniors. Now offered for college credit through Quincy University, the CPSC is team-taught by Todd Klauser (QHS) and Dr. Vince Matsko (QU). The text? Vince Matsko's Polyhedra and Geodesic Structures -- an innovative (if yet unpublished) text describing the design and construction of geodesic structures using spherical trigonometry.

…use CDs, one for each vertex of the zonohedron. Drill holes in them corresponding to the edges adjacent to the vertices, and fasten them together with rivets. For stability, assemble the CDs around an aluminum frame. It sounded straightforward enough.

Q-Ball