Is time travel possible? Do aliens exist in our vast universe? How does a rainbow form?
These are fantastic questions and just by asking them, you are one step closer to becoming a master problem solver in mathematics!
It all started with a little curiosity for Leonardo Pisano (commonly known as Fibonacci). Whilst investigating the breeding patterns of rabbits, Leonardo stumbled across arguably one of the most famous mathematical discoveries in human history- the Fibonacci sequence. Each number is the result of adding the previous two numbers in the sequence, as seen below
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…
Simple isn’t it? But what makes this pattern so special? Well it turns out that Fibonacci’s sequence has and continues to be found in nature. From the number of petals on a rose, to the shape of our galaxy, our world is seemingly encoded with Fibonacci’s pattern.
What’s this got to do with Problem Solving?
In many respects, Mathematics can be defined as the language of patterns. By spending more time investigating patterns, our brain is able to more easily recognise and discover similar or new patterns. In a school setting, this means that students should spend more time challenging their understanding of any given Maths concept by continuously applying it in an unfamiliar context.
Problem solving begins with curiosity, curiosity leads to inquiry, inquiry leads to practice, and practice leads to problem solved!