Randy Herrmann, P.Eng. is an engineer, teacher, and advocate for Indigenous ways of learning in math/science. He is also the director of the Engineering Access program (ENGAP) at the University of Manitoba. ENGAP is the largest and most successful program of its kind in Canada and serves as a model for others seeking to support Aboriginal students in earning an engineering degree.

Randy is a key contributor to the development of this curriculum resource. He is an original member of the production team.

http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/engineering/programs/engap/index.html

Ideas For The Classroom

Numbers in Nature: Fibonacci and His Wonderful Sequence. It’s everywhere!

These mathematical exercises can be adapted to suit grades 6 – 12. They invite students to explore the Fibonacci sequence to learn what it is, where it came from, and how it is manifested in nature.

Start with a brain tease.
 Post the following numbers for all to see.

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21

In small groups, invite students to study the pattern and make observations.

Groups share and document their thinking. What do we see? Do the numbers have anything in common? What is the next number in the sequence? How did you arrive at the next number?

Each number is the addition of the two previous numbers.

This sequence is called the Fibonacci Numbers or the Fibonacci sequence. It helps us understand the patterns of the natural world.

Can you find examples of Fibonacci numbers hidden in nature? Pine cones? Flowers? Corn?

For those interested in further study:

Who was Fibonacci and where did he come from?

What is the connection between Fibonacci numbers and The Golden Ratio? Phi? Pascal’s Triangle?