Creating Shells

This task introduces students to ideas around memory and math, how nature embodies mathematics, and basic connections between rules and visual patterns.

We will use the context of snail/mollusk shells to discover how nature, math, science and storytelling overlap in real and beautiful ways. We have lowered the floor of this task so that students in grades 3-5 can meaningfully interact with these topics in the first part of the task. Alternatively, the ceiling of this task could exit through cellular automata, permutations, Sierpinski’s Triangle, computer coding and more!

This lesson on shell patterns is inspired by material from the book, “The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe Using Only Math,” authored by Manil Suri.

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