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Aug 24 2015

Why children should be taught fibonacci sequence

I do not recall fibonacci sequence from my school days. That is so because it was never part of my curriculum. Having the deadly combination of being obedient and non imaginative I stuck to the syllabus like a leech to flesh. But yes, when Dan Brown made it popular in The Da Vinci Code I did do some reading to find out what he was talking about and realized to my surprise that sequence wasn’t too complicated to understand.

The Fibonacci Sequence is the following series of numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, …

The next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it.

  • The 2 in the series above is found by adding the two numbers before it (1+1)
  • The 3 is found by adding the two numbers before it (1+2),
  • Similary, the 5 is (2+3),
  • and so it goes on!

Most people already know but it is difficult to explain to children that nature follows numerical order in a very detailed manner as defined by Fibonacci Sequence.

Victoria Hart, commonly known as Vi Hart, is a self-described “recreational mathemusician” who is most known for her mathematical videos on YouTube. This one deals with doodles on Fibonacci sequences and is a very interesting watch.

Nature expresses this sequence in many interesting ways. Here is a few of them.

  1. Petals on Flowers

One petal- White calla lily


Two petals- Euphorbia

Three petals- Trillium

                                
There are many flowers having five petals- Columbine

and so on.. Some in the higher range of the fibonacci series

Field daisies have about 34 petals

2. Pineapple Scales

The scales are roughly hexagonal in shape. And because of this 3 distinct fibonacci numbers 5,8 and 13 scales can be observed.

3. Seed and Flower Heads

The pattern and the way in which the seeds are packed on the flower heads seem to always follow a Fibonacci pattern. The reason is because this arrangement form an optimal packaging, so that no matter how large the head, the seeds are almost always uniformly spaced. This is usually seen in Sunflowers.

The miracles of mathematics and nature never stops to amaze us. There are many more examples where nature has adapted fibonacci series. Will add some more soon.

 

Sources:

1. Math is fun

2. Math and Environment

3. Introducing pattern to children

4. Doodling in math

5. Treehugger

6. Home School Math

7. How Fibonacci numbers are expressed in nature

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