Challenge 3C: Eco Atlas – Decoding Nature
(4th and 5th Grade)

For Individuals or Groups — Maximum points: 200 (1 entry per school)

YOUR CHALLENGE: Patterns in nature have fascinated scientists, mathematicians, artists and philosophers throughout history. While different types of patterns occur in a diverse range of living and non-living things such as mollusks and snowflakes, they can be observed in plants as well. Consider for example the seemingly random spiral on a pinecone, the symmetry of a flower, or even the arrangement of branches on a tree trunk. To decode the nature which surrounds them, students will explore, document and research plant patterns outside their classroom and in their community. Downloadable PDF

3C. Fibonacci Photography – Students will photograph plants with naturally occurring spirals and/or fractals, and include a “fib poem” describing their image.

ENTRY SUBMISSION: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 by 5:00 pm

Electronically submit the following:

✓  Entry Requirements:
 Entry must be emailed to challengepk-5@fairchildgarden.org and include school name and teacher contact in attachment name and the email message
 Title page of Eco-Atlas must clearly indicate school name, teacher(s), and how many students or classes were involved in the creation of book
 Eco Atlas must be 8.5” x 11”and include title page, introduction page, and photographs of plant patterns. The book can be no more than 12 double-sided pages
 Photographs included in Eco Atlas must depict spirals and/or fractals
 Written descriptions must be written in “fib poem” format
 All plants illustrated in the book must be labeled with common name
 Eco Atlas must be 2-D. Photographs of plant patterns can be full color and black/white
 On-time entry submission (late entries may not receive points)

FAIRCHILD FIELD TRIP EXTENSION: 
Bring your class on a virtual field trip at Fairchild. Please visit Explorer Field Trip Programs for more information.

EVALUATION CRITERIA: 
For more information on how your submission will be evaluated, see Challenge 3C Evaluation Sheet

STATE ACADEMIC STANDARDS: 
This Challenge meets various state standards, visit Challenge 3C Benchmarks

CHALLENGE RESOURCES:
Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant

Fractals
The Fractal Foundation’s Fractivities
Treehugger’s 14 Amazing Fractals Found in Nature

Spirals and Fibonacci Sequence
Cambridge PLAN(E)T’s Mathematical Patterns in Plants: Fibonacci and The Golden Ratio
The Joy of Plants’ Fibonacci Numbers: The Science of Plants
Awkward Botany’s Pine Cones and the Fibonacci Sequence
wewanttolearn’s Plants, Math, Spirals, & the Value of the Golden Ratio

Poem
Poetry Foundation’s 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, Fun…
Writer’s Digest’s Fibonacci Poetry: A New Poetic Form!
Greg Pincus’ How to Write a Fib!

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