Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Fractals *

Difficulty
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.

Abstract

A fractal is, "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced/size copy of the whole" (Mandelbrot, 1982). There are many different fractal patterns, each with unique properties and typically named after the mathematician who discovered it. A fractal increases in complexity as it is generated through repeated sets of numbers called iterations. There are many interesting projects exploring fractal geometry that go beyond the project outlined in the Exploring Fractals Science Buddies project idea. For example, can you show that the perimeter of the Koch Fractal increases infinitely even though the area is finite? (Lanius, 2004) Can you use fractal geometry to investigate and model objects from nature? Try matching up a fractal pattern with the natural geometry of clouds, ferns, flowers, shells, or trees (Frame and Mandelbrot, date unknown). Can you program a java applet to draw different fractals? (Devaney, 1999)

Cite This Page

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Fractals" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 20 June 2014. Web. 1 Nov. 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Math_p031.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 20). Fractals. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Math_p031.shtml

Share your story with Science Buddies!

I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.


Last edit date: 2014-06-20

Bibliography

Share your story with Science Buddies!

I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.

Ask an Expert

The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.

Ask an Expert

Related Links

If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:

Mathematician at work

Mathematician

Mathematicians are part of an ancient tradition of searching for patterns, conjecturing, and figuring out truths based on rigorous deduction. Some mathematicians focus on purely theoretical problems, with no obvious or immediate applications, except to advance our understanding of mathematics, while others focus on applied mathematics, where they try to solve problems in economics, business, science, physics, or engineering. Read more
Computer programmer typing on a keyboard

Computer Programmer

Computers are essential tools in the modern world, handling everything from traffic control, car welding, movie animation, shipping, aircraft design, and social networking to book publishing, business management, music mixing, health care, agriculture, and online shopping. Computer programmers are the people who write the instructions that tell computers what to do. Read more
math teacher helping student at blackboard

Math Teacher

Math teachers love mathematics and understand it well, but much more than that, they enjoy sharing their enthusiasm for the language of numbers with students. They use a variety of tools and techniques to help students grasp abstract concepts and show them that math describes the world around them. By helping students conquer fears and anxieties about math, teachers can open up many science and technology career possibilities for students. Teachers make a difference that lasts a lifetime! Read more

Looking for more science fun?

Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom.

Find an Activity