FUN WITH FRACTALS: AN EXPLORATION OF RECURRING PATTERNS IN MATHS AND NATURE!
A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are identical across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems – the pictures of Chaos. Fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals. Here below you can see some everyday examples of fractals that are found in nature.
Our goal in this task was for students to draw their own fractal tree diagrams using pre-determined rules. Students could opt for three different levels of difficulty based on their confidence in measuring angles and calculating percentages. An example of one of the many rules is as shown below. Students had the choice of only identifying the angle/line length in their trees, but for further challenge display both.
Here are some examples students made of their fractal trees (the time in class to work on this activity was cut short through the snap lockdown), as well as some comments.
“It made me think in other ways that I usually don't. I found different methods and had to experiment to find the easiest one. I found this task challenging and learnable.”
Jakob Misso (Year 7)
“I found this activity interesting and a challenging way of thinking differently. The activity made me calculate each angle accurately. It was a fun but tough activity!” Kiara Eriksen (Year 7)
“I found that I still knew what I was doing without completing the task with ease. I found that the smaller the measurement, the harder the accuracy got. I felt that I was challenged and that it furthered my learning in finding percentages in fractions.”
Isabella Ruthven (Year 7)
“It was really fun and challenging for me with the different angles and branches stretching off to different directions. It was quite a concentrating task where your whole mind had to be focused or you would either get an angle wrong or a line length incorrect. Overall I really enjoyed it.”
Leo Park (Year 7)
We’ve had an interesting week or so away from the classroom, but are looking forward to our return.