Monday, August 18, 2014

Math Club: Fractals

We did some fun math club activities last school year (2013-2014). I took pictures and promised my kids I'd publish them eventually. Yes, I waited until the very end of the summer, but we haven't actually re-started yet, so I think I squeaked in under the deadline. ;)

Here's one we did on March 25, 2014.

I talked to the kids a little about fractals and drew a rough Sierpenski triangle on the board. Here's a much better version than my poor freehand:



We talked about some basic principles of fractals, which was challenging, since I don't really understand them. Basically, you take a shape and repeat it a lot, on different scales. In a cool pattern.

We also did a quick Koch Snowflake:





And I mentioned Vi Hart videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK5Z709J2eo and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdyociU35u8Vi Hart

I also brought up a google image search to inspire them. (See some examples below.)

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But enough boring adult lecturing! At math club, we minimize that as much as possible. Time to turn the kids loose! We distributed paper and crayons and colored pencils and some rulers. "Draw something fractal-ly," I said. "Or fractal-ish or fractal-like. Whatever. Just draw!" And this is what they came up with:

 
Euna


 Lucy


 
 Daniel


 Evan

 
 Niamh


 
Olivia

 
Keena




Meanwhile, a helpful parent -- there are so many of those, bless them all! -- wrote a resource on the board: www.fractalfoundation.org





The kids chatted and compared notes while they worked, which is part of the draw of math club.





I took pictures of as much art as the creators permitted. (Some kids were shy.) I also tried to match the artwork to the kids as much as possible. My apologies for the unlabeled/unattached ones below! I'm pretty sure those creators declined to be included. Still, if any of my math kids feel slighted, please let me know. I can always add (or delete) more artwork to this post.









Below are some examples I pulled off a google image search. Amazing pictures! --But I like my students' stuff better.