- To bolster the STEM student pipeline shortage by promoting project-based STEM initiatives through origami.
- To Do Good in the world with our study.
How we fulfill our mission:
- We advocate for STEAM studies through origami;
- We improve our world by community service in Folding for Good initiatives;
- We value global collaboration, understanding, and teamwork to achieve our goals;
- We have fun.
Founder and CEO
Origami Salami & Folding for Good
I am self-taught folder. It started with a gift of an origami kit around April 2001. I now have tubs and bins of models. Along the way, I started to wonder about the STEM between the folds. Knowing that the United States has fallen critically behind other countries in the sciences, that there are only one million minutes of high school, and that therefore American youth need to be more engaged in STEM studies at very early ages, I decided to do something about it by publishing my personal take on it.
Here is an innovative way to encourage learners to stick with STEM subjects long enough to get to the very cool applications in the sciences that lie years ahead in college and in one’s lifelong career. In my program, I link paper folding with scientific applications so that even the earliest participant discovers surprising scientific possibilities that lie hidden in a “hobby” --- for example, we consider satellite tethers (the simple accordion fold), the new heart stent (adapted from the water bomb base), air bags, the human brain (folded so that more information can be stored), proteins (one mis-fold and disease ensues), and RNA.
The internet is cluttered with information about folding, but nowhere is it neatly organized for consumption by us students, the up-and-coming scientists and innovators. So, my first goal became to put together an accessible resource for interested people, especially students and those involved in their STEM education. I hoped to influence other students to stick with STEM by writing about my self-taught hobby of paper folding and about how folding has intricate, elegant, profoundly practical, scientific applications.
So, I developed a digital product called, "Investigation: Paper Engineering" for K-12 curriculum publisher Lincoln Interactive. IPE targets the middle school market, but is easily adapted for elementary and high school students. Though the course is fully digital, it comes with a toolkit containing assorted papers and items required to complete the basic assignments. IPE went live on June 1, 2011 and is full of fascinating tidbits about the world history of paper folding, the role of paper engineers and what it takes to become one, societies and clubs dedicated to origami, and a series of really cool folding projects.
It seemed natural to continue my mission to invite others to join in advocating for STEM through the adventure of origami. In 2010, I opened a Facebook page which has now grown into a lively global community. By 2012, I began a Twitter account to reach more people. Fellow students supported the Origami Salami mission and joined up, starting dedicated groups of their own on four continents. Together, we strive to support good causes in the world through the art and science of origami. We also initiate global, regional, and local projects of our own. We value global collaboration and teamwork.
It s significant that because of us at Origami Salami, students everywhere know that all their ideas are valuable and that if studying paper folding has led to remarkable scientific advancement, then other “hobbies” must have similar potential that is yet to be discovered. ALL ideas are valuable to the global scientific community. And most especially the really crazy ideas, the novel connections that are forerunners of invention. We stand for that.
STEAM studies lead to inventions and innovations which improve the human condition for good, so I have a component called, "Folding for Good." Always do good in the world and seek to improve it. Folding for Good is our overall initiative where we hit the road and dig into community service that takes STEAM right to the doorsteps of people around town and around the globe. It is "Undercover STEM" through which we address and support good causes everywhere.
We make important connections between folding, STEAM applications, and doing good with who we are.
Calista has gone on to distinguish herself among her peers as a pioneer and a leader in advocating STEM education.
The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance
Origami heart stent
developed by Zhong You and Kaori Kuribayashi-Shigetomi,
Oxford University, UK
This heart stent uses the origami "waterbomb base" to collapse the device until it is woven into position to hold an artery open.
One of the design challenges with NASA's NuSTAR-the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array-was to build a low cost structure with a long focal length, while keeping it compact enough to fit inside the Pegasus launch rocket. So, a folding truss system, which will be deployed after NuSTAR reaches orbit, was created.
Unlocking the mysteries of how DNA folds correctly and what happens when genes mis-fold