Did you know that November 23rd is Fibonacci sequence day? The date November 23rd, or 11/23 in mm/dd format, follow a number pattern called the fibonacci sequence. The Fibonacci sequence day celebrates the famous mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci, who discovered this mathematical pattern in the 12th century. Let’s look at what the Fibonacci sequence is and a fun activity to explain it further !
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WHAT IS THE FIBONACCI RULE
The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the previous two. It starts with 0 and 1, and then goes up like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and so on. The next number in this sequence would be 34 , by adding the two previous numbers, 21 and 13. Therefore, the fibonacci rule is that each number in the series is equal to the sum of the two numbers before it.
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Fibonacci Sequence – CLIMBING STAIRS Activity
I recently read ‘Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci‘ to my kids, a biography of Leonardo Fibonacci, and I thought it would be fun to do an activity with them to help them realize that Fibonacci numbers can be found everywhere, if you look closely.
So, how do you explain Fibonacci to a child ? Well, by having them climb the stairs. Ask them to keep a record of the number of ways they can climb the stairs. The only rule is that they can either climb one step or two steps at a time. Makes sense ? Let’s explain it in more detail.
I began the activity by asking my kids how many possible ways there are to climb each stair, assuming they can do it either one step at a time or two steps at a time.
They figured out that there was only 1 way to climb the staircase 1. Two ways to climb staircase 2 – either by climbing 1 step twice or climbing 2 steps at a time.
For climbing three stairs, there are 3 different ways: one step at a time, one step followed by two steps, or two steps followed by one step.
Similarly, they figured out that there are five different possibilities to climb staircase 4.
We then recorded the results in a table, and I let them look for any patterns. I asked if they were noticing any numerical patterns. And if they can determine how many distinct ways there are to ascend stairs 5, 6, and so on. They recorded every possible way they could ascend staircase 5 and found there were 8 different options. And, there are 13 different ways to ascend Staircase No. 6, etc.
Voila! they figured out that the numbers were arranging themselves in a Fibonacci sequence. Isn’t it cool ? Unbelievably, they had never considered looking for patterns while ascending steps.
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WHAT ARE THE FIRST 20 FIBONACCI NUMBERS
The Fibonacci Sequence’s first 20 terms are: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, and 4181.
WHAT IS A Golden Ratio
The magic of fibonacci sequence doesn’t end here. If you divide any two consecutive numbers in the fibonacci sequence, their ratio is always closer to 1.6180. This number is called the Golden Ratio.
The Golden ratio is also called the divine proportion and has fascinated people for centuries. It is said to be in the dimensions of human body and can even be found in the famous paintings like Mona Lisa. It is said that the most beautiful human face has golden ratio hidden in the proportions of their face. Are you the one ?
INTERSECTING FACT ABOUT FIBONACCI SEQUENCE
You can easily convert miles to kilometers approximately if you are familiar with the succeeding terms in Fibonacci sequence. For example, 5 and 8 are consecutive Fibonacci numbers, and 5 miles equals 8 kilometers. The numbers 8 and 13 are also consecutive Fibonacci numbers, thus 8 miles equals 13 kilometers.
The ratio of two consecutive Fibonacci numbers approaches the golden ratio ( 1.618), and coincidentally, 1 mile = 1.609 km is nearly the same as the golden ratio. And that’s the reason for it. Isn’t it amazing ?
Also, do check out some of our Fibonacci inspired craft projects
- Fibonacci Christmas Tree Craft
- Mondrian Style Fibonacci Gnome Hat
- Fibonacci Math Art – Making Quilt Patterns
We hope that your children will enjoy learning about the Fibonacci sequence while climbing stairs. Additionally, they’ll exercise. So, next time you’re out in nature, look for this truly magnificent pattern found everywhere, from the spirals of a seashell to the petals of a flower.
Happy exploring !
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