Math is Everywhere!
Finding patterns in the world around us

We are entering year II of the GIANT PUMPKIN project with more of a scientific focus this year. We have designed an experiment to determine which variables will produce the biggest pumpkins. We have planted two types of seeds: Atlantic Giant and Big Max. Each student planted one of each seed. Then each student signed up to be in charge of testing one variable. Two students have the control plants that will be watered with water and left to their own defenses. Two students will water their plants with both water and milk (a pumpkin farmer secret for producing HUGE results). Two students will water their plants with water and play jazz music to their plants. Once the seedlings are ready, they will be planted in the YES garden. Last year, we got 3 pumpkins from our seeds, the largest one weighing in at 37 lbs. We're hoping to beat that record this year!

Our task:

• To create a spreadsheet to record research, data and results throughout the giant pumpkin growth experiment and interpret the data to draw conclusions.

The GIANT PUMPKIN project is just one portion of the larger unit: Math is everywhere - finding patterns in the world around us. How many patterns exist in a natural setting? in music? art? architecture? Where do they appear? How are they useful?

Our task:

• To identify number patterns, ratios, recurrent numbers, and visual patterns in our world (including pumpkins!). Students will then ask questions and explore these observations to determine where they occur and why. (Student explorations will include the Fibonacci series, golden rectangles and the golden ratio.)

Here are our questions and theories:

*can we take measurements in our school to find golden rectangles and then convert them into musical notes to find the music within the architecture of our school?
- all buildings contain music in their structures; but is it harmonic?

Once we've explored several examples of patterns and numbers in the world around us, we will create a product in a mode of our choice that demonstrates understanding of one of the number patterns, ratios or visual patterns that we've explored, to include theories about further applications. Stay tuned......