Friday, September 23, 2011

Go on a Pattern Hike

If you’re looking for a way to connect math to nature, start paying attention to patterns. Patterns are lines or shapes that repeat – and you can find them just about everywhere you look: the back of a caterpillar, butterfly wings, the way a wasp’s nest is built or the honeycomb of a bee hive.

There are patterns in the way clouds gather in the sky, and the V’s geese make as they fly.

There are patterns left by waves on the beach, and by snakes on the desert sand. Look closely at a cactus and you’ll find a pattern in how the spines come out; same thing for pine needles.

There are patterns in rocks and trees – and even in the food you eat. Ever cut an apple across the middle and see the star inside? Take a closer look at blueberries and you’ll see that same star pattern at the blossom end of the fruit.

So, next time you head outside go on a “pattern hunt”. Take along a journal or camera and record the neat patterns you find.

What to share the patterns you find? Just send a low-resolution photo to sueheaven at gmail dot com and I’ll post them here (it might take a couple days).

1 comment:

  1. Love this post! Have you seen Joyce Sidman's new book Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature? It's fantastic! I was able to get my hands on an ARC and will be blogging about it in a couple of weeks, when I host STEM Friday.