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Friday, September 12, 2014

Lesson #4 - Find a Rectangle

Rectangles are all around us. There are posters and framed photo on our walls, highway and roadside signs, buildings, computer monitors and smartphones, and the list goes on and on.

But some of these rectangles seem to look more, well, RIGHT, than others. And sometimes it's hard to tell why they do. Consider the following two rectangles:

Photo credit:
American Pools Ipswitch
Photo credit:
Does one look 'better' than the other? Why do you find yourself drawn to that one? Chances are, it's because of its dimensions, which likely are very close to the Golden Ratio, found in the Fibonacci Sequence.

Lesson #4 - Find a Rectangle

Objective: Students will identify rectangles whose dimensions closely match 'phi', or the Golden Ratio, which is approximately, 1.618.

Task: Look around your house, your community, or larger town and identify five rectangles which seem to match the dimensions of the Golden Ratio. That is, their lengths are approximately 1.618 times their widths.

Take a photo of the rectangle for your collection.

If possible, use a measuring device to measure the actual length and width of each rectangle. If the rectangle is located on private property, be sure to ask permission before taking measurements. Compare the ratio of your rectangle's length to its width to the Golden Ratio. How close were your values?