A box of toothpicks can lead to an afternoon of entertainment. This week learners can play with the toothpick sequence. The sequence produces really interesting geometries and lines as it grows. I recommend watching Numberphile’s Youtube video on this sequence here. There is also OEIS’ website that allows for play with variations and many iterations. Grab a box of toothpicks and let’s begin:
Start by placing a single toothpick:
And then place toothpicks centered at each end:
And then place toothpicks centered at each end again:
Repeat this process at the ends that are available:
I also made a GIF in Procreate (stop animation is a wonderful way to play with all sorts of math):
Allow for play with the toothpicks to see what other mathematical patterns and tessellations are created.
Another option is to use graph paper to draw this sequence. Have fun!
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