Lately, I have been entranced with spiders. The bigger the better. The furrier the cooler. The more active the more enticing. I start each morning with a hot cup of coffee in hand, go to my window, which I used to think needed an outside washing, and just stare in wonder and amazement. You see, the corner of our window is home to this oddly beautiful, black, furry spider with a tiny orange dot. The artwork of this spider catches the morning dew and creates diamonds in the sunlight. As I turn my head at different angles and take it all in, all I can see is math.
Math in Nature is a math concept that revolves around the Fibonacci sequence. You may be thinking, “Fibo what?”
Fibonacci, also known as Leonardo Pisano, was a famous Italian mathematician in the 12th century. He observed a particular fascinating pattern in nature that is now known as the Fibonacci Sequence and can be found countless times in God’s creation. Basically, the sequence is a pattern in which each number is the sum of the previous two. Confused? Here’s a breakdown:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144….and on and on and on
Do you see the pattern?
Can you keep going? And why is this important enough to put into words?
For me, it is a fascinating testimony to a very creative God. The Fibonacci sequence creates a spiral.
This spiral is found in nature in numerous ways! Have you ever noticed the spiral of a pinecone or the way leaves grow? Have you observed the spirals in a conch shell or sunflower seeds?
Sometimes our children may ask, “Why is math important? Why do I need to learn this?” Truly, math is a life skill that is needed throughout our daily lives. Yet, that may be a boring answer for some students. Perhaps a better answer as to why math is important is because math is creatively mesmerizing when viewed through nature’s lenses. Math is God’s creativity and ingenuity. When we look at the world through math, we can clearly see the existence of a Creator who loves us so much He gave us these amazing brains to explore His creation. Math is a way to grow our brain, to view astonishing pieces of nature, and to draw us closer to God.
Challenge your student to go outside, to walk around, to quietly observe flowers, trees, pumpkins, grape bunches, squash. Instead of squashing the spider, follow it to its web and put your math brain into action to see if you can find the Fibonacci spiral. Open your heart and your mind to God’s creation surrounding each day.
“Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
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Susan Spraker believes that each person has unlimited capacity to learn in their own unique way. It is her passion to lead students toward their own learning style in order for each to grow, to find their calling, and to excel. Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with certification in K-8th grade. She has experience in various private and public elementary school environments. For the past eight years, her main role has been homeschool teacher for her children.