Take a bite of delicious– and explore math at the same time!

Food and math add up to a whole lot of fun! And, pairing these two things is easy. For example, to introduce patterns, you can start with one of the most famous sequences of all time: The Fibonacci Sequence. In this famous pattern of numbers, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. . . etc, the rule is to add the previous two terms to get the next. Here is a demo of how you can use fruit on a stick to make edible kebobs of the pattern. (Check out the whole activity in EAT YOUR MATH HOMEWORK: RECIPES FOR HUNGRY MINDS)

Challenge:

A kebob stick is only so long. But, how about putting several sticks together and trying to continue the pattern? (Use small pieces of fruit, or raisins, miniature marshmallows, gummy bears, etc.) How long can you go until the numbers get ridiculously large?

What, or more accurately, WHO was Fibonacci? Find out more about this famous man and how, exactly, he became so interested in the sequence that now bares his name.

Ms. McCallum,

Last week, at a funeral dinner of all places, I struck up a conversation with a bright little eight-year-old girl. (She’s also the #1 gymnast in her state.) She immediately caught on to the sequence and its occurence in nature.

Could you please recommend a book suitable for her age group.

Thank you,

Burton Johnson

Sandy Spring, MD

Well… not to toot my own horn, but how about ‘Rabbits, Rabbits Everywhere: A Fibonacci Sequence”? This math fairytale is based on the historical rabbit problem that Leonardo Fibonacci worked on that led to his re-discovery of the Fibonacci sequence. Plus, the illustrations by Gideon Kendall are fab!