Friday, 12 November 2010

Fibonacci Sequence

With pine cones we had collected at Brodsworth Hall gardens, we investigated Fibonacci sequence.
Fibonacci (Leonardo of Pisa 1180-1250) was the son of an Italian merchant. On his travels in Europe, he developed a passion for numbers. He described a puzzle that gave rise to what is know as the Fibonacci sequence of numbers.
The sequence is 1,1,2,3,5,8,21..
Each number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two.
The Fibonacci sequence can be seen in the arrangement of leaves on a flower, segments in pine cones and even florets of a cauliflower.
It was very tricky to work out the number sequence, we tried putting dots of nail varnish on the pine cone, but still we couldn't get the sequence. But we could see the left hand/right hand spiral. And I think at this stage the important thing is to be able to observe the sequence in nature and know that things are not completely random!
We managed to model the sequence using rabbit poulations, but there are limitations to this model. But it was good practice with the maths and we did achieve the Fibonacci sequence.

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