Year 8 mathematicians at Rydal Penrhos explore “the most talented Western mathematician of the Middle Ages”.
One of the world’s brightest-ever minds was the topic of discussion for a group of Rydal Penrhos senior school pupils during a recent mathematics project.
The enthusiastic Year 8 contingent were given a thought-provoking task by Andy Thomas, director of teaching and learning who specialises in the field of Mathematics, surrounding Fibonacci – an Italian mathematician who is responsible for popularising the Hindu–Arabic numeral system in the Western world.
Mr Thomas’ instructions were simple – write an essay, create a Powerpoint or a short movie on the Fibonacci sequence, which is a set of numbers that starts with a one or a zero, followed by a one, and proceeds based on the rule that each number (called a Fibonacci number) is equal to the sum of the preceding two numbers.
For example… F (0) = 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 … In some texts, it is customary to use n = 1.
This was part of their learning surrounding different sequences as part of their online learning during the second educational lockdown, which has been met with a significantly positive response from the entire Rydal Penrhos community to ensure that individual goals remain on track despite the uncertain climate.
Not only did the project involve plenty of individual research on the leading figure in Mathematics, but it also provoked some exceptional discussion from Year 8 during their Microsoft Teams lessons throughout the week.
There were some outstanding final submissions on the Fibonacci sequence, with this video from David Tate among the highlights.
While this series of numbers from this simple brain teaser known as the Fibonacci sequence may seem inconsequential, it has been rediscovered in an astonishing variety of forms, from branches of advanced mathematics to applications in computer science, statistics, nature, and agile development.
Mr Thomas was thoroughly impressed with the application and work ethic from each pupil involved, which is a testament to the way they’ve all approached this spell of online learning and is going to benefit them considerably once the Welsh Government gives the green light for a return to Rydal Penrhos.
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