Student From SMU Creates Award-Winning Origami Dinosaurs

Nolan, an earth sciences major specializing in geology at SMU (Southern Methodist University) creates complex origami dinosaur figures that won first place at an internet olympiad according to a Dallas Morning News article from July 27. They say,


“Nolan is an earth sciences major at SMU, specializing in geology. He’s also an international origami champion, and combines his interests to create intricate models of prehistoric creatures. His original design of an “unusual shrimp,” a 500 million-year-old predator called Anomalocaris took first place in the 2021 International Origami Internet Olympiad’s Own Design category.


Nolan is entering his junior year at SMU and is exploring doctoral programs in paleontology. He also volunteers for Paper for Water, a nonprofit based in Dallas that creates origami ornaments to fund water sanitation projects around the world.


Nolan plans to keep exploring the unknown. For him, creating origami dinosaurs is about more than the final product.”


Nolan has been interested in dinosaurs and origami since he was little. By combining these two passions, he has won awards, and has a better understanding of the animals he studies according to a North Texas e-News article from July 18. They say,


“Nolan has been fascinated by dinosaurs since his dad came home with a dinosaur puppet when he was three. By the time he was eight, he was a member of the Dallas Paleontological Society, assisting in local digs. 


A church bulletin folded into a paper airplane inspired seven-year-old Nolan’s interest in origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. He began folding simple projects, then quickly progressed to more intricate designs and became enamored with creating original origami designs. 


Now he combines these childhood passions in an unusual way, preparing dinosaur fossils as an SMU paleontology student and winning international origami awards for his original dinosaur designs.”


Nolan will continue his studies all the while, creating and bringing life one fold at a time. 


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