# Fractals

Pictured: A Famous Fractal - The Mandelbrot Set

### A Fractals Unit for Elementary and Middle School Students

#### That Adults are Free to Enjoy

Introduction

Why study fractals?
fractals, anyway?

Fractal Properties
Self-similarity
Fractional dimension
Formation by iteration

For Teachers
Teachers' Notes
Teacher-to-Teacher

Fractals on the Web
The Math Forum

Other Math Lessons
by Cynthia Lanius

## What are Fractals?

They're everywhere, those bright, weird, beautiful shapes called fractals. But what are they, really?

Fractals are geometric figures, just like rectangles, circles and squares, but fractals have special properties that those figures do not have.

There's lots of information on the Web about fractals, but most of it is either just pretty pictures or very high-level mathematics. So this fractals site is for kids, to help them understand what the weird pictures are all about - that it's math - and that it's fun!

Teachers: Every lesson has a print version for classroom use.

Thanks to Sarah Seastone at The Math Forum for her invaluable assistance with editing these pages.

Fractals make "Cool Science" News
Winners and New Champions!

Congratulations! Students in Mr. Lynch's class in Sandpoint, Idaho created this 11th iteration Jurassic Park Fractal. It took 128 copies of their original to make. Great job.

Elementary School Champions! Third grade students in Ms. Renner's class at Alief ISD's Chambers Elementary in Houston, TX made this this 9th iteration Jurassic Park Fractal. Wow!