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 conceptsyou could explore with this challenge: binary numbers, randomness, probability, symmetry

Yes, this is based on stitch patterns made with running stitch i.e. alternating between front and back of fabric. Either the first stitch is present (1) or absent (0) on the surface.

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?

Love this idea! Thank you!

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