Kids can explore fractals and search for similar and repeating patterns with a family-friendly science activity at home.
Fractals refer to specific kinds of patterns that repeat, often at smaller and smaller sizes. This characteristic of patterns that repeat at different scales is referred to as self-similarity. Fractals can be found in nature as well as in digital art. While the study of fractals is something mathematicians do, kids of all ages can experiment with and search for fractals. A simple activity using craft paint and a plastic CD case lets students create a paint sample in which they may be able to see repeating shapes.
Grab some paint and put this science activity to the test! You'll be creating refrigerator art and exploring science at the same time!
View the Mesmerizing Fractals activity at Scientific American.
Students interested in fractals and math-based science exploration may also enjoy the following project ideas and activities:
- Candy Corn Geodesic Dome
- Making Math with Dough
- Exploring Fractals
- Juice Box Geometry
- M&M Geometry
- Tiling with Spidrons
- Divide and Conquer: Proving Pick's Theorem for Lattice Polygons *