This lesson plan is designed for elementary and middle school students. Written to comply with suggestions in the NCTM Standards, it uses fractal geometry to introduce students to modern mathematics and to connect arithmetic and geometry. The lesson also connects math with art, writing, history, and career information.
Students learn how to make a fractal by constructing two famous examples: the Sierpinski Triangle and the Koch Snowflake. Math questions and challenges follow activities; "What's so hot about fractals?" explores why fractals are fun and useful to study. Finally, links to other fractals on the Web and where to learn more about them are included.
Can you connect the dots in a 3x3 grid using 4 straight lines? Can you plant 7 rosebushes so that they form 6 straight lines with 3 bushes in each line? How about 10 bushes in 5 lines of 4 each, or 19 bushes in 9 lines of 5 each?
If you find these puzzles easy, try constructing nine triangles by drawing three straight lines through a capital M.
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SEND YOUR MATH LINE PUZZLE **WITH YOUR ANSWER** to firstname.lastname@example.org
We'll add your best puzzles and your names to our Web pages.
Why do high school students need to learn math? I mean, we don't use math all that much in English, so why learn it when we already know how to balance checkbooks?
Good question - but you might be surprised at how many people need math in their lives. Math is useful for a lot more than balancing your checkbook!
There are thousands of different jobs that require some aspect of mathematics. Here's a page with some firsthand accounts of what college math majors are doing, from Air Traffic Control Systems Analyst and Lawyer to Data Capture Facility Troubleshooter on the Hubble space telescope.