A fractal is a pattern that infinitely repeats itself, growing smaller by a scale factor. In this course, students will create their own fractals, study some famous ones, and attempt to define them with age-appropriate language. Students will test their definitions on some things that might be fractals. We’ll look for them in nature, drawing connections between mathematics and life itself. We’ll take some occasional breaks from fractals to engage in activities such as pen-tracing puzzles, Exploding Dots, Mobius strips, and the unsolved No-Three-in-a-Line problem. This course is inspired by Johnny Houston’s tireless work on the No-Three-in-a-Line problem and especially by Maria Droujkova’s work on making compelling mathematics accessible to young children. Underlying mathematical concepts include multiplication, exponential growth, scale, geometry, infinity, self-similarity, dimension, iteration, place value, parity, discrimination, graph theory, and mathematical communication.
Thursdays, 3:30-4:30 pm, Garden Classroom
9/19-10/17 (5 weeks, 5 hours of instruction)