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Fractals and Tessellations

Student Projects at
Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, Salt Lake City, Utah

from Dave Bradley

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Dave Bradley teaches 9th grade geometry and has put some of the work his students have done on the Web. Here's what he wrote the Forum about the assignments he made on fractals and tessellations:

For the fractal assignment I used the NCTM materials by Dr. Evan Maletsky. The algorithm is simple:

  1. Start with a triangle,
  2. shrink to 1/2 size,
  3. make three copies
  4. arrange the three copies in quadrants 2,3, and 4
  5. goto (2).

If you do this process in PC paint or WordPerfect or Microsoft Word you will get the first fractal, the Sierpinski Triangle (stages 1-5), by Ramie Finch.

The others are formed by (3') rotating all or any of the copies, but always rotate the same - i.e. in quadrant 2 rotate 90 degrees right, in quadrant 4 rotate 270 degrees right, and in quadrant 3, don't rotate. The following fractals are by Ryan Reese, Mike Vinecke, Brian Wright, Ian Mecham, and Troy Rosenland, respectively:



For the tessellation assignment I used an idea from Discovering Geometry (Key Curriculum Press) in combination with the MECC computer program "TesselMania," which I bought it at Toys-R-Us for $12.95.

Tessellations featured here are "Piggies" by Jessica Hoskins, "Mushrooms" by Brandy Grant, "Foxes" by Kristen Jennings, "Tessellation" by David Terry, and "Fish" by Jaren Bradley.



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3 November 1996