Thanks to Katherine Seaton for sharing this idea!
The Challenge: Using grid paper, assign each row/column a 0 or a 1. Then “stitch” both ways. You could assign the 0s and 1s as you prefer, or with a coin, or you could code something in binary!
Materials Needed: Grid/dot paper (You can print some or make some without too much trouble), or if you have the stitching materials…
Math concepts you could explore with this challenge: binary numbers, randomness, probability, symmetry
Here’s a brilliant long form tutorial from Neil Butler, if that helps!
And here is a brilliant way for you to adapt this to teach experimental probability:
Depending on how you use this activity, you may engage with different mathematical standards. I’ve listed possible connected math content above. Here are a few suggestions for how you might integrate the 8 mathematical practices. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!
4.) Model with mathematics. Discuss designs like those shared by Constance Rojas-Molina above. What do you notice about the relative structure and symmetries provided by Rojas-Molina? What does “random” really mean?
7.) Look for and make use of structure. Notice how many “layers” are created by each design. Is there a way to increase the number of layers? How do the areas of each layer compare? How many colors are needed to color each design and why?