How to teach your kids to draw fractals
February 10, 2014
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It’s probably one of the best things that computer-geek dad/mom can teach their kid – to draw fractals with LOGO. Here is how you do it:
- Install Kturtle or similar LOGO software
- Refresh your knowledge on fractals (for example, at the excellent website of Jeffrey Ventrella)
- Look at the examples of turtle graphics and fractals on the Internet
- Repeat (together with your kid) very basic stuff from geometry: how to add/subtract angles, triangle postulate, etc.
Then fun begins:
- 30 minutes exercise implementing Koch Curve
- 1 hour exercise implementing Sierpinsky Triangle
- 1.5 hour exercise implementing various fractal trees
- 1 hour implementing Dragon Curve
- etc. etc.
Some very important things to remember:
- don’t overload your kid with knowledge. It’s important to get to exercises ASAP, otherwise motivation is lost.
- at first do every exercise yourself, without the kid. This way you make sure that you understand the goals and methods of implementation and can deliver that understanding to a kid.
- be clear at formulating goals and algorithms, show on paper how stuff works.
- don’t try to be overly supportive, give a kid space to think and experiment with implementation.
- ask kid questions and stimulate thinking: “what about changing this parameter here, how will it affect our fractal”?
- don’t try to do all exercises at once – this would not be effective, since the brain needs time to digest new concepts.
This could be the beginning of your kids’ big love – love to mathematics and science.
Illustration: Sierpinsky Triangle, created by my daughter with Kturtle:
The source code: