Skip to main content

Experience the union between Math & Art in a RAFT workshop!


While Geometry often describes and measures shapes like a cone, sphere or triangle, does it define the shape of a cloud, a mountain, a coastline, or a tree?

Starfish and Broccoli
are a few examples of fractal patterns in nature!
It does! Most patterns in nature, called “fractals” describe curves, surfaces and objects that have some very peculiar properties so irregular and fragmented, that it takes more than spheres, cones, circles, triangles, smooth or straight lines to describe them!

These fractals might resemble arteries, coral, a heart, a brain, tree branches and other such ‘designs’ that have symmetry, ‘self-similarity’ and are scale-free!
Fern fractals - with symmetry
and self -similarity!

 Look around you – Fractals are everywhere!  Have fun with us and discover everyday Fractals at the upcoming RAFT workshop ‘Fractals and Beyond’ on Feb 9th, at RAFT San Jose. This workshop will demonstrate how fractals can be related to Sierpinski's gasket, to patterns, to equations, to graphing, and to even a broccoli! 

Break off a branch of the whole broccoli and what do you see?  The smaller branch looks just like a miniature copy of the whole broccoli!  Now think of self-similarity in ferns, the formation of shells, mountains, lightening, river estuaries, fault patterns, galaxies, musical compositions, and other nature’s designs. 

A fractal’s dimension indicates its degree of detail, or crinkliness.  Simple curves, such as lines, have one dimension.  Squares, rectangles, circles, polygons and others have two dimensions, while solid objects such as cubes, spheres, and other polyhedra have three dimensions. 

All those dimensions are integers: 1, 2, 3… But a fractal could have a non-integer dimension of 1.4332.   By understanding fractal dimension, mathematicians can now measure shapes such as coastlines that once were thought to be immeasurable.

If you want to explore the world of Fractals, a science that marries Art with Math, join us for the upcoming workshop this week.
Discover your own fractal designs with RAFT’s Hands on Activity Kit ‘Freaky Fractals’!
Share your experiences with everyday Fractal patterns in nature here! Add your comments below.

Jeanne Lazzarini, RAFT Math Education Activity Developer

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Putting the E in STEAM

By Amanda Amburgey M.A, Maker Science Teacher, Bulldog Tech 


What is going on in this classroom? There are kids everywhere excitedly making, testing, remaking, retesting, hot gluing, hammering, there is so much duct tape!  This is what engineering looks like in a middle school science class.   This is excited, meaningful learning.  How did I get to this place where I feel comfortable facilitating such an active engineering process with my classes?  As a science teacher I have had practice with hands on, inquiry based labs, technology and math makes their way into those labs easily.  But, engineering had me stumped.  How was I going to be an effective engineering teacher as required with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) when I knew so little about engineering?  
This is where RAFT and their STEM workshops really saved me and gave me the courage to start engineering projects.  I started with a somewhat common misconception of what engineers do.  I thought engineering was going…

CUSD Shares Possible STEAM Projects by Grade

Twelve STEAM Innovation Leaders from the Campbell Unified School District (CUSD) came to RAFT earlier this month to create new motivational activities for the start of the school year!  They met in grade-level teams with our RAFT Education staff to generate new ideas using RAFT materials that will motivate, challenge, and inspire their students. Each team was given a RAFT Makerspace-in-a-Box containing a wide variety of upcycled materials. They were asked to create a Design Challenge that directed students to solve the instructor’s challenge with the materials from the box. The Design Challenges addressed an engineering standard appropriate for each grade level and could include standards from other subjects. Here are some of their exciting back-to-school ideas:
************************************************************************************* Grades TK – 2 Engineering Standard: K-2-ETS1-1:  Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to chan…

The "RAFTy" Teacher Checklist - 5 Things to do to Prepare for Back to School