Introduction (from the activity booklet that comes with this kit):
The term “Fibonacci” is derived from the name of an Italian mathematician. Back in the Middle Ages, when Genghis Khan ruled most of Asia and King John of England was about to sign the Magna Carta, Leonardo de Pisa published the book, Liber Abbaci. In it, he documented the repeating patterns he found in nature. But Leonardo de Pisa was better known by his nickname, Fibonacci, which came from two Italian words, “filius Bonacci,” meaning “the son of Bonacci.” Hence, the term, Fibonacci sequence, was born (though it should be noted that earlier East Indian mathematicians were also aware of this sequence). The Fibonacci sequence is composed of a mathematical series of numbers. Beginning with 0 and 1, each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13, 21,34,55,89,144, and so on). Many mathematicians have studied the deeper complexities of the Fibonacci sequence and use it in financial, computer, and statistical analyses. Fibonacci numbers have also been used to generate geometric patterns that correlate with some spiral patterns found in nature. People are still trying to determine why Fibonacci numbers appear in nature. Theories include design for strength (shells), exposure to sunlight (leaves), and even maximizing packing densities (cabbage). This activity guide explores several common natural patterns that contain numbers in the Fibonacci sequence.
Internet links in the booklet include: