STEM Activity: Fibonacci Design
Follow nature as you design your ideal personal space!
- Recyclables (e.g., lightweight cardboard boxes, paper cups)
1. Observe the spiral of a nautilus shell. These spirals as well as other interesting patterns found in nature can often be explained by a formula in mathematics called the Fibonacci sequence. It’s sometimes referred to as nature’s secret code or universal rule.
2. Using your design thinking skills and inspiration from nature, start creating your own ideal personal space by selecting one natural object that showcases the Fibonacci sequence. Examples include sunflowers, pinecones, seashells, ferns, roses and even pineapples!
3. Pick a spot that needs refreshed. It could be a bedroom, treehouse or any place where you spend time.
4. Now that you have zoned in on your nature-inspired item and location, use paper to create a blueprint of your ideal space. Tape several sheets of paper together if you want to make a large blueprint.
5. Place a string on the paper and manipulate the string into a desired shape for your space. Then, trace around the piece of string. In keeping with Fibonacci, consider using curved patterns and designs.
6. Think about the furniture you would design for your space. Where would you relax? Work? Hang out? Think about the shapes of windows, staircases, doors and accessories. What shape would these items be?
7. To create features for your design, find items around the house that you can trace. Look for paper cups, container lids or other items that are circular or that don’t contain angles.
8. Add color to your design, keeping your nature theme in mind.
9. Build a 3D model of your blueprint by upcycling items from around your home. Use lightweight cardboard and bend it as needed to create the shape of your room. Then, add finishing touches to your design.
What Are We Discovering?
Designers, architects and inventors often look to nature for inspiration and sometimes even mimic some of these features in their designs. National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductee Roger Angel uses ideas from nature to help solve problems. He designs and builds optics for astronomical research and more economical solar energy. He is best known for creating very large and lightweight primary mirrors for astronomical telescopes. These mirrors have honeycomb structures, demonstrating Angel’s nature-based inspiration!
To learn more about Angel, check out this video!
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