Fractals: Beauty and Art in Science and Mathematics

Melanie Mowry, Math/Science, Francis Bradley Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


The topic of my unit is fractals and as a 6th grade math and science teacher, I
was initially challenged to find ways to have this topic blend with both disciplines. As I
learned more and more each day about Mandelbrot and the theory and formula for
fractals that he developed in 1979, the integration of this concept into math and science
seemed organic – it is already math, science, and art combined.
I plan to implement a six-part unit (Introduction to Fractals, Fractals in Geometry,
Fractals in Science and Nature, Science in the Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Integration of
Fractals) using Common Core standards and objectives, in addition to incorporating the
six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy throughout the lessons.
As a teacher and a life-long student, in addition to my thirst for knowledge, I have a love
of the arts – literary, theatrical, and visual. Also, as someone who enjoys and appreciates
nature, exploring these in unexpected and non-traditional ways through mandated
curriculum this has been an opportunity to enhance my life culturally and rejuvenate my