Fractals are everywhere in nature – repeating patterns of the same shape in various sizes and colors that are naturally occurring, can have mathematical equations to explain them and can be replicated by anyone from a scientist to a six-year old.
Our family attended a homeschooling workshop about fractals and mathematics last week at The Discovery Center in Concord, NH. Here they teamed with The Fractal Foundation to bring us an exciting look at these beautiful patterns and help us understand how to replicate them ourselves using patterns and mathematics. After an initial discussion about scale and understanding our universe, we viewed a program in the planetarium called Fractal Zooms! that made us feel like we were zooming through a kaleidoscope of colors, patterns, shapes, sizes and even made us feel like we were spinning through space!
After seeing these fantastic fractals with all their colors and interlocking shapes, seemingly going on endlessly, we got to learn some mathematics behind creating them. Our girls were able to recreate the Koch Curve Fractal and the Sierpinski Triangle Fractal and discover that there are many others as well. Everything from sea shells and coastlines, to ferns and tree branches, to our own organs and blood vessels have fractals!
Try making your own fractals today, starting with the Koch Curve Fractal, and go from a simple curved line to a complex snowflake! Or creatively color in the many triangles of the Sierpinski Triangle Fractal. Have fun with these patterns and more by going to the Fractal Foundation website today.
As the motto from the Fractal Foundation claims,
“Fractals are SMART: Science, Math and ART!”