Education Technology

At a Snail's Pace for the TI-73 Explorer™

Activity Overview

It is hard to imagine a way to mathematically describe a spiral. Spirals are commonly seen in nature. There are a number of different types of spirals. Some interesting examples include the spiral arrangements of scales in pine cones, seeds in a sunflower, or the calcified layers of a snail's shell. One way of constructing a spiral is to use the Fibonacci sequence.

Before the Activity

  • Review the attached PDF
  • Print the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Students will:

  • Plot a mathematical relationship that defines a spiral
  • Use technology to create a spiral similar to that found in a snail
  • Use technology to plot a set of ordered pairs
  • After the Activity

    Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary