Sierpinski’s triangle and snap cubes.

Our math friend (and professional Ultimate player !!) Federico Chialvo sent us the following link on twitter last night:

Such a neat visual pattern.  The kids really liked it.

As we watched the different patterns fly by, my youngest son noticed that the pattern for the number 243 looked a lot like Sierpinski’s triangle.  That observation gave rise to our Family Math exercise this morning:

So glad I bought these snap cubes!

Interestingly, after we finished my youngest asked how our pattern today related to the one from the Chaos Game:

In the Chaos Game we had a little computer program that ran 10,000 iterations and produced a picture that looked like Sierpinski’s triangle.  He knew that 10,000 wasn’t a power of 3 and that didn’t reconcile with today’s exercise in his mind.  Good question.

On a side note, check out Federico’s fun blog post about the Collatz Conjecture:

The Collatz conjecture gives us such a fun opportunity to introduce kids to an usolved math problem.  We used it for one of our first Family Math videos.  So fun!