Home > Resource of the Month Archive Detail

<< Prev 6/25/2006 Next >>

Fibonacci was a Scrapbooker!

So how will you spend your summer? Why not join a current craze and make a scrap book (documenting your past year's teaching experiences?). And, it can actually capitalize on your mathematics knowledge and skills.

Still available in local stores or on the Internet, the March issue (2006) of Creating Keepsakes, includes use of the Fibonacci sequence to "foolproof your" scrapbook designs. Unfortunately, the ideas are hiden in Danielle Catalano-Titus' article "Scrapbooking Made Easy" (pp. 118-130).

As the article begins, "The 'number gurus' from the past have come up with theories that can help you and me create well-balanced layouts in half the time." From there, some history of the Fibonacci sequence (according to the author it is (1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, etc.)is provided...but it regretably is wrong. For example, the author claims that Fibonacci created his sequence to determine how fast rabbits could breed (error #1) and then translated his sequence into the golden rectangle/spiral (error #2). Thge author goes onto claim that to produce a pleasing layout, all a scarpbooker has to do is paste their photos and other elements into a grid based on this golden rectangle.

Several examples are provided...with some small twists in orientation of the inner squares. The, the author moves on to explore scrapbooking designs based on Venn diagrams, bar graphs, and pie charts. On the whole, the effects are pleasing. The use of mathematics works!

And when you are done with your scrapbooking... you can move on to basket weaving. Again, Fibonacci to the rescue. On a recent Carol Duvall Show, Billie Ruth Sudduth explained how her basket weaving techniques are inspired by a mathematical structure of spiral growth found in nature. Again in error (#3?), she claims that Fibonacci had discovered that spiral patterns in nature.

Or, and there is always Adina Klein, editor-in-chief of Vogue's Knit 1 magazine, who knits "cuff and scarf combos" using her own unique designs based on the Fibonacci number system. More on this subject later, as I have to go scrapbook now.

Source: My thanks to Jennifer Gent (Kulshan Middle School) for telling me about this issue of Creating Keepsakes.