Summer Interns at the Austin Nature and Science Center-Fibonacci Numbers

Lauren SiegelIntern Experience, Nature & Science CenterLeave a Comment

We’ve begun on site work at the Austin Nature and Science Center. We arrived on the 14th with some displays and activities still in development. The campers who came through our area were great!

At the table inside campers and visitors were invited to draw a tree for what we hope will be a display that incorporates visitor work, and also to build a spiral from the wooden squares. The size of the squares are 1×1, 1×1, 2×2, 3×3, 5×5, 8×8 and 13×13. In other words along a side they are the Fibonacci numbers. A diagonal score can be used as a guide to make the golden rectangles and see the spiral. Visitors seemed to really enjoy this “puzzle”. We are considering putting some subtle hash marks along the side to facilitate calculating the side lengths. It can be done starting with 1 then 2 and then to show 1+2=3 etc, but its hard to follow as the numbers get bigger.

Out front (far right) we told students the origin of the Fibonacci numbers and the Rabbit problem. We took the Rabbit problem and related it to the Fibonacci Tree. With some other students we discussed the Bee Ancestry. these are complicated ideas and relationships and we need some better ways to explain them. Some of these kiddos are just in the hall for a few minutes on the way to the restrooms and drinking fountains.

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