For Maths Week 2023, 3rd class – 6th class engaged in a Maths Pattern Workshop in Birr Castle. Where they learned how Mother nature is one of the greatest teachers in terms of mathematics. The children learned how leaves on a plant love their own personal space and will grow with a certain distance between the neighbouring leaves. This is called Fibonacci. When growing off the branch, Fibonacci can be viewed in their stems as well as their veins. The more they grow outward, the higher the Fibonacci sequence is visible. We also see this in pinecones, seed heads on flowers and in petal patterns.
The children also learned about dendrochronology which is the scientific process of dating a tree. In temperate climates like ours, many trees grow one ring around the trunk of their tree. If the tree is cut horizontally across the trunk, these rings are clearly visible and can be counted to estimate the age of the tree. Good growing and moisture conditions within the year can result in a wider ring while a drought can result in a narrower ring – showing us the rate of growth corresponding with growing conditions that year. The children had a great day out and it was great to see the children learning and thinking about patterns in a different way.