# Fanatic Fractal Fever by HC120309123348

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```									                                                                 F : Fanatic Fractal Fever
BROWN
FORGER
INSLEY
MAHONEY
An exploration of patterns for Middle and High School students

3
A series of activities that explore fractals with a progression from Middle School to High School.

Middle School:
Rep-Tiles - Students use pattern blocks to create a sequence of growing similar
figures. They analyze patterns created and predict results for even larger figures.
Sierpinski Triangle - Students create the beginning stages of the Sierpinski Triangle
by building-up triangular regions and exploring patterns in perimeter and area.
Sierpinski Carpet - Students create the beginning stages of the Sierpinski Carpet by
building-up square regions and exploring patterns in perimeter and area.
Self-Similarity - Students use their knowledge of similarity to explore the meaning of
self-similarity in basic shapes. Connections are made to the rep-tile activity.
Self-Similarity in the Sierpinski Triangle - Students extend their knowledge of self-
similarity as it applies to their activity on the Sierpinski Triangle.
Dimension - Students explore the meaning of dimension, from a point to a three-
dimensional space and then relate that to the concept of fractal dimension.
Sierpinski Tetrahedron - Students extend their understanding of fractals to three
dimensions by creating the first stages of the Sierpinski Tetrahedron. They explore
patterns in surface area and volume with challenges for even the brightest students.
Pascal’s Triangle - Students look for patterns in Pascal’s Triangle, specifically with
the placement of odd and even integers. Furthermore, through shading, students
discover a connection to the Sierpinski Triangle.

High School:
Cutting Away - Students cut paper into thirds and repeat the process to create stages.
This exploration leads to the discovery of an exponential function and its connection
to recursive formulas. This introductory activity begins student thinking of repetitive
processes and pattern recognition.
Sierpinski Triangle - Students create the beginning stages of the Sierpinski Triangle
by removing triangular regions and exploring patterns in perimeter and area. They
also connect these patterns to functions through graphing.
Sierpinski Carpet - Students create the beginning stages of the Sierpinski Carpet by
removing square regions and exploring patterns in perimeter and area. Graphs and
functions are also explored, as well as connections to the Sierpinski Triangle.
Dimension - Students explore the meaning of dimension, from a point to a three-
dimensional space and then relate that to the concept of fractal dimension.
Sierpinski Tetrahedron - Students extend their understanding of fractals to three
dimensions by creating the first stages of the Sierpinski Tetrahedron. They explore
patterns in surface area and volume with challenges for even the brightest students.
Pascal’s Triangle - Students look for patterns in Pascal’s Triangle, specifically with
the placement of odd and even integers. Furthermore, through shading, students
discover a connection to the Sierpinski Triangle.

Nathan Brown           ncbrown76@gmail.com
Lauren Forger          lforger@hotmail.com
Dave Insley            David.Insley@comcast.net
Kelly Mahoney          k_a_mahoney@yahoo.com
Name: __________________           Class: ___________                       Date: ________

Rep-Tiles
Begin with an equilateral triangle pattern block, like the one shown:

1. Now, tile as few of these shapes together as possible to make an enlarged copy of the
original shape that contains no holes or missing pieces. Draw the arrangement below:

2. Is your new triangle similar to the original triangle? How do you know?

3. Repeat Questions 1–2 for the next bigger enlargement you can make with the original
shape. Draw and describe your figure below.

4. Complete the following table to show how the side length, perimeter, and number of
pieces change as the figure grows larger:

Stage                   1             2            3               4         5
Side Length             1             2
Perimeter               3
Number of unit          1
triangles

5. Looking at the patterns in the table above, what would be the perimeter for the Stage
7 triangle? the Stage 15 triangle? (draw the figures if it helps)
Name: __________________          Class: ___________                     Date: ________

6. How does the perimeter change from one figure to the next? Describe the pattern in
words or symbols.

7. Looking at the patterns in the table above, what would be the number of unit triangles
in the Stage 7 triangle? the Stage 15 triangle?

8. How does the number of unit triangles change from one figure to the next? Describe
the pattern in words or symbols.

9. Name at least two other shapes you can use to create a rep-tile. Draw them below.
Do you have any conjectures?
Name: __________________            Class: ___________                      Date: ________

The Sierpinski Triangle

We are going to create a famous fractal called the Sierpinski Triangle.

Using a sheet of isometric dot paper, draw an equilateral triangle with side length of 2
units. Now connect the midpoints of each of the three sides of your triangle. Does this
look familiar?

Shade in the three triangles that are pointing up. This is Stage 1 of the Sierpinski
Triangle! You may notice that stacking three equilateral triangles can create the figure
above leaving a hole in the middle. If we call one triangle Stage 0 of the Sierpinski
Triangle, then the next stage can be made from three copies of the previous stage.

1. Draw Stage 2 below.

Stage 0                 Stage 1                Stage 2

2. What fraction of the triangle in Stage 1 is shaded in?

3. What fraction of the triangle in Stage 2 is shaded in?

4. Use this information to predict the fraction of the triangle in Stage 3 that will be
Name: __________________           Class: ___________                       Date: ________

5. Can you predict the fraction of the triangle in Stage 10 that will be shaded in?
Describe the pattern in words or symbols.

6. Let’s explore some patterns in the Sierpinski Triangle. Remember that the white
areas in the stages are holes, so the perimeter includes both the outside of the triangle
as well as the lengths around the holes.

Stage Number             0           1           2           3          4           5

Side Length             1           3

Perimeter             3           9

Triangles
Fraction of Triangle        1           3
Fraction of Triangle        0           1

7. How could you find the number of shaded triangles for any stage number? Describe
the pattern in words or symbols.

8. Write the fractions from the last column in order from the least to the greatest. Write
a statement about how their order connects to the shading in process.

9. How does the fraction that is shaded change as the stage number gets larger and
larger?

10. Find another interesting pattern in the Sierpinski Triangle. Write a paragraph
Name: __________________            Class: ___________                     Date: ________

The Sierpinski Carpet

Now that you have explored the basic concepts of a fractal and the idea of self- similarity,
let’s take a look at another fractal, called the Sierpinski Carpet. The Sierpinski Carpet is
similar to the Sierpinski Triangle in that both are fractals based on basic shapes and have
various patterns that can be seen and explored.

To create a Sierpinski Carpet begin with a square of any size.

We will call this square Stage 0.

Stage 0

We can create a new stage by arranging 8 elements of the previous stage in a square
pattern with a “hole” in the center the size of one of the elements from the previous stage.

1. Draw Stage 2 below.

Stage 0                Stage 1                 Stage 2

2. What fraction of the square in Stage 1 is shaded in?

3. What fraction of the square in Stage 2 is shaded in?
Name: __________________           Class: ___________                       Date: ________

4. Use this information to predict the fraction of the square in Stage 3 that will be

5. Can you predict the fraction of the square in Stage 10 that will be shaded in?
Describe the pattern in words or symbols.

6. Let’s explore some patterns in the Sierpinski Carpet. Remember that the white areas
in the stages are holes, so the perimeter includes both the outside of the squares as
well as the lengths around the holes.

Stage Number             0           1          2           3           4            5

Side Length             1           3

Perimeter              4          16

Unit Squares
Fraction of Square         1           8
Fraction of Square         0           1

7. How could you find the number of shaded squares for any stage number? Describe
the pattern in words or symbols.

8. Write the fractions from the last column in order from the least to the greatest. Write
a statement about how their order connects to the shading in process.
Name: __________________          Class: ___________                     Date: ________

9. How does the fraction that is shaded change as the stage number gets larger and
larger?

10. Do you see any relationship between the generalizations for the Sierpinski Triangle
and the Sierpinski Carpet? What role does the number of sides of the unit shape in
each fractal play in the patterns you see?
Name: __________________               Class: ___________                               Date: ________

Self-Similarity
We have used the term ‘similar’ many times. If you and a friend are similar, then you are
alike in some ways. In Geometry, similarity has a special meaning. Geometric figures
are similar if they have the same shape.

For example, the following squares are similar, in fact all squares are similar:

However, not all rectangles are similar. For example:

are not similar rectangles. To be similar, the corresponding sides need to be proportional
and the angles need to be congruent (have the same measure).

1.       Give an example of two Geometric figures that are similar. Draw your similar
figures below:

2.       Self-similarity is a slightly different concept. We can go back and look at our
reptiles for an example of self-similarity. We have a bunch of copies of a shape
making up a larger shape. Draw a rep-tile using trapezoids that shows an example of
self-similarity:

Name: __________________               Class: ___________                                Date: ________

Self-Similarity in the Sierpinski Triangle

Above is a picture of the Sierpinski Triangle that we made in this unit. Notice that the
outline of the figure is an equilateral triangle. Now look inside at all the equilateral
triangles. Remember that there are infinitely many smaller and smaller triangles inside.
How many different sized triangles can you find? All of these are similar to each other
and to the original triangle - self-similarity.

See all the copies of the original triangle inside? How many copies do you see where the
ratio of the outer triangle's sides to the inner ones is 2:1? 4:1? 8:1? I think we have a
pattern here. Can you find it?

Let’s look at some questions about self-similarity

1. If figure 1 is the original figure, how many
similar copies of it are contained in figure 2?
Figure 1      Figure 2

2. Are squares self-similar? (Can you form bigger squares out of smaller ones?) Are
hexagons? (Can you form larger hexagons out of smaller ones?) Draw examples

3. Are circles similar? Are they self-similar?(Can you form larger circles out of

4. Experiment with designing another self-similar figure. Do you have any
conjectures?

Name: __________________               Class: ___________                              Date: ________

Dimension
A point is a single place in space that has no length, width, or height. We say that a point
has zero dimension. We can attempt to draw a point, but anything we draw will be huge
in comparison to an actual point, so we’ll have to trust that a point can be represented and
still has zero dimension.

●P

A line has only one dimension, length. It has no width, but it has infinite length. You
will have to imagine a pencil line so thin that it cannot be measured. This won’t ever
happen, but there are still lines that have no width and infinite length.
l

A plane has two dimensions, length and width, but it has no depth. Think of a very thin
desktop. So thin that you cannot measure it, but it stretches an infinite distance in all
directions.

Space has three dimensions, length, width, and depth. Think of the universe as a space or
a large empty box. It stretches an infinite distance in all directions.

Fractals, like the Sierpinski Triangle, could have fractional dimension. Let’s explore
how this can be.

Think of a self-similar object like a line segment, and double its length:

Doubling the length gives two copies of the original object.

Let’s look at a square. If we double the length of the side of a square we will get four
copies of the object:

Finally, let’s look at a cube. If we double the length of a side of a cube we will get eight
copies of the object:

Name: __________________               Class: ___________                              Date: ________

Let’s organize our data in the following table and see if we can see a pattern:

Figure                 Dimension            Number of Copies
Line Segment           1                    2  21
Square                 2                    4  22
Cube                   3                    8  23

1. What do you notice about the relationship between the Dimension and the
Number of Copies?

2. How many copies would we get if we doubled an object of dimension d?

We can use the answer to the above question to determine the dimension of the Siepinski
Triangle!

3. If we double the length of our Siepinski Triangle, how many copies did we get?

Doubling the side length gives us 3 copies, so we can use the equation 3  2d to
determine the dimension. Go ahead and experiment using a calculator to see if you can
find a value of d that works in the above equation. Remember:

21  2 and 22  4

4. So, our exponent has to be between 1 and 2. What do you think the exponent will

5. Use a calculator and try different possibilities for d. What is the approximate
dimension of the Sierpinski Triangle?

Name: __________________           Class: ___________                       Date: ________

Sierpinski Tetrahedron
We are going to create the Sierpinski Tetrahedron, a three-dimensional version of the
Sierpinski Triangle.

Cut out the attached tetrahedron templates. Each template will fold along the dashed lines
to form a tetrahedron. Glue or tape each tab to form three edges of the tetrahedron.

The first step in making the Sierpinski tetrahedron is to arrange three of your tetrahedra
so that they look like this from above:

Glue these three tetrahedra together at the vertices where they touch. To make the new
figure as strong as possible, you may want to insert a toothpick into the vertex of each
tetrahedron and glue it in place. Complete the new figure by gluing a fourth tetrahedron
above these three, attaching each of the vertices of its base to one of the three vertices
that are pointing upward:

Your final shape should be a larger tetrahedron with a hole in the middle. This is Stage 1
of the Sierpinski tetrahedron! We can consider one of the original tetrahedra to be
Stage 0.

1. How many vertices, edges, and faces are there in the original tetrahedron, or Stage 0?

2. How many vertices, edges, and faces are there in the Stage 1 tetrahedron?

Follow this rule for building the Sierpinski tetrahedron:
The next stage can be created by taking 4 of the previous stage
and gluing these figures together to form a larger tetrahedron.
Name: __________________           Class: ___________                     Date: ________

3. Use this rule to build the Sierpinski tetrahedron: complete the following table. You
don’t have to build more than Stage 2, unless it helps you figure out the patterns.
Stage               0          1          2          3           4          5             6
Side Length         1          2

Number of
Vertices
Number of
Edges
Number of
Faces
4. How could you find the number of vertices for any stage number? Describe the
pattern in words or symbols.

5. How could you find the number of edges for any stage number? Describe the pattern
in words or symbols.

6. The pattern for determining the number of faces for any stage number is similar to the
one of the patterns in the last two problems. To which is it similar? Explain why the
patterns are similar, and why the other pattern is different.

7. GEOMETRY. The four Stage 0 tetrahedra form an empty space within the Stage 1
tetrahedron. Describe the shape of this hole by naming it and counting its number of
vertices, edges, and faces.
Name: __________________          Class: ___________                    Date: ________

8. CHALLENGE. In Stage 1, what fraction of space is taken up by the hole compared
with the entire figure? What about in Stage 2? Explain your reasoning, and describe
the pattern as the stage number increases.

9. CHALLENGE. Imagine a solid tetrahedron the same size as the Stage 1 tetrahedron.
How does the surface area of Stage 1 compare to the surface area of this solid?
Answer the same question for Stage 2. Explain your reasoning, and describe the
pattern as the stage number increases.

as large a Sierpinski tetrahedron as you can! Can you make one large enough to get
inside?
Name: __________________         Class: ___________                         Date: ________

Pascal’s Triangle

Pascal’s Triangle is a triangular array of numbers. As the triangle grows, more rows are added
through addition and symmetry. Look at the beginning of Pascal’s Triangle on the next page and
see if you can discover how each row is constructed.

1. Fill in the missing numbers of Pascal’s Triangle shown on the next page.
What procedure did you use to fill in the triangle?

2. What are some patterns that you see in Pascal’s Triangle?

3. How do you know if a number is going to be even or odd?

4. What do you notice about the location of the even and odd numbers?
Why do you think their locations have these patterns?

5. Shade in the odd numbers. What do you notice? Why do you think this pattern happens?

6. Combine your triangle with those of your classmates. What did you discover?

Triangle image from Connors et al (2004)
Name: __________________   Class: ___________                         Date: ________

Triangle image from Connors et al (2004)
Name: __________________            Class: ___________                                     Date: ________

Cutting Away
1. Start with a piece of 8 ½ X 11 paper. Cut the paper into three pieces. This represents
stage 1. Next, cut each of these pieces of paper into three pieces. This represents stage 2.
Repeat this procedure a few times. As you are working, complete the table below. Can
you find a function that represents the number of pieces of paper you will have after n
times of repeating this process? Try to look for patterns to fill in the table.

Stage Number                              Number of Pieces of Paper
0
1
2
3
4

…

n

2. The process of repeating the same procedure based on a prior action again and again is
called iteration. Explain how cutting the paper represents an example of iteration.

3. What type of function is being represented here? Explain your reasoning.

4. Represent this iteration in a recursive formula. A recursive formula has a defined starting
value and represents an example of iteration. In other words, you are using the output of
the previous function calculation as the input for the next one.

5. Another example:
Given the following set of data: G(0) = 4, G(1) = 12, G(2) = 36, G(3) = 108

a.) What type of function is represented? What is the function?
Explain what each part of the equation represents.

b.) What is the recursive formula for this data? Explain your reasoning.

Adapted from McDougal, Littell, and Company’s Algebra 2 textbook
Name: __________________            Class: ___________                      Date: ________

The Sierpinski Triangle

Fractals are geometric shapes that are self-similar. If one “zooms in” on a section of a fractal, it
looks exactly the same as the original image. The Sierpinski Triangle is one of the most famous
examples of a fractal. It contains a wide variety of patterns and applications to other areas of
mathematics.

To create a Sierpinski Triangle begin with a triangle of any size.
We will call this triangle Stage 0.

Stage 0

Locate the midpoints of each side and connect them forming four triangles similar to each other
and the original.

Remove the middle triangle, leaving three smaller triangles at the corners of the larger.
This is Stage 1.

Stage 1
Name: __________________          Class: ___________                     Date: ________

Repeat this process on the three shaded triangles remaining in Stage 1 by locating the midpoints
of each side of the shaded regions, connecting them to form four similar triangles, and
“removing” the center triangle each time. This is Stage 2.
Try creating Stage 2 based on the given midpoints.

Stage 2

Following the same procedure, complete Stage 3 and Stage 4 on the triangles shown below.

Stage 3                                       Stage 4

How many Stage 1 triangles are in Stage 2?

How many Stage 2 triangles are in Stage 3?

How many Stage 3 triangles are in Stage 4?

How many Stage 1 triangles are in Stage 3?

How many Stage 1 triangles are in Stage 4?

What patterns do you see here? Explain.
Name: __________________               Class: ___________                     Date: ________

The process of repeating the same procedure based on a prior action again and again is called
iteration. How do your drawings and answers from above represent an example of iteration?

If the process described above is repeated an infinite number of times, the outcome will be the
Sierpinski Triangle (shown in the pictures on the previous page).

1. Patterns in the Sierpinski Triangle
In a discussion with your group members, what are some patterns that you see developing
in the Sierpinski Triangle? For example, take a look at the number of triangles, both

2. Exploring The Perimeter of the Sierpinski Triangle
Let’s take a closer look at the perimeter of the Sierpinski Triangle by analyzing the
triangle at each stage and looking for patterns. Assume that the measure of each side of
the stage 0 triangle has a length of one. Fill in the table below for stages 0 – 5. Please
(NOTE: Number of triangles refers to the number of small triangles left after the removal
of the middle triangles.)

Stage                    0        1         2        3        4         5       …         n
Number of Triangles      1
Length of                1
Each Side

Perimeter of             3
Each Triangle

Total Perimeter          3
Ratio of Total
Perimeter to Previous

a. Looking at the pattern of the number of triangles, how many triangles do you think will
be in the Stage 7 triangle? the Stage 15 triangle? the Stage n triangle? Describe the
pattern in words and symbols.

b. Looking at the pattern of the length of each side, how long would the side of a triangle be
in the Stage 7 triangle? the Stage 15 triangle? the Stage n triangle? Describe the pattern
in words and symbols.
Name: __________________           Class: ___________                       Date: ________
c. Looking at the pattern of the perimeter of each triangle, what is the perimeter of each
triangle in the Stage 7 triangle? the Stage 15 triangle? the Stage n triangle? Describe the
pattern in words and symbols.

d. Looking at the pattern of the total perimeter, what is the total perimeter in the Stage 7
triangle? the Stage 15 triangle? the Stage n triangle? Describe the pattern in words and
symbols.

e. What do you notice about the ratio of the total perimeter to the perimeter of the previous
stage? Why does this pattern occur?

f. What types of functions do your Stage n triangles represent? Why?

Draw a sketch of the graphs of each of the functions represented in parts a – d.
Name: __________________          Class: ___________                 Date: ________
g. Do you see any connections between the shape of the graphs and your generalizations of
the perimeter discoveries in parts a – d?

happen in each case above as the process of creating the Sierpinski Triangle is done an
infinite number of times? Explain your findings.

3. Exploring the Area of the Sierpinski Triangle
Now, let’s take a closer look at the area of the Sierpinski Triangle by analyzing the
triangle at each stage and looking for patterns. Assume that the area of the stage 0
triangle is 1. Fill in the table below for stages 0 – 5. Please use fractions in your

Stage                    0         1         2        3         4        5        …          n
Number of Triangles      1
Area of Each Triangle    1

Area to Previous

a. Looking at the pattern of the area of each triangle, what is the area of each triangle in the
Stage 7 triangle? the Stage 15 triangle? the Stage n triangle? Describe the pattern in
words and symbols.

b. Looking at the pattern of the total shaded area, what is the total shaded area in the Stage 7
triangle? the Stage 15 triangle? the Stage n triangle? Describe the pattern in words and
symbols.
Name: __________________          Class: ___________                      Date: ________

c. Looking at the pattern of the total unshaded area, what is the total unshaded area in the
Stage 7 triangle? the Stage 15 triangle? the Stage n triangle? Describe the pattern in
words and symbols.

d. What do you notice about the ratio of the total area to the previous area? Why does this
pattern occur?

e. What do you notice about the ratio of the total unshaded area to the total shaded area?
Why does this pattern occur?

f. What types of functions do your Stage n triangles represent? Why?

Draw a quick sketch of the graphs of each of the functions represented in parts a – c.

g.
Name: __________________        Class: ___________                     Date: ________

g. Do you see any connections between the shape of the graphs and your generalizations of
the area discoveries in parts a – c?

happen in each case above as the process of creating the Sierpinski Triangle is done an
infinite number of times? Explain your findings.
Name: __________________            Class: ___________                      Date: ________

The Sierpinski Carpet
Now that you have explored the basic concepts of a fractal and the idea of self- similarity, let’s
take a look at another fractal, called the Sierpinski Carpet. The Sierpinski Carpet is similar to the
Sierpinski Triangle in that both are fractals based on basic shapes and have various patterns that
can be seen and explored.

To create a Sierpinski Carpet begin with a square of any size.
We will call this square Stage 0.

Stage 0

Divide the square into nine smaller squares of equal size.

Remove the middle square, leaving eight smaller shaded squares on the outside edges of the
larger. This is Stage 1.

Stage 1
Name: __________________          Class: ___________                     Date: ________

Repeat this process on the eight squares remaining in Stage 1 by dividing each square into nine
smaller squares of equal size and removing the square in the middle (while shading the
remaining squares). This is Stage 2.
Try creating Stage 2 based on the given picture.

Stage 2

Following the same procedure, complete Stage 3 and Stage 4 on the squares shown below.

Stage 3                                      Stage 4

How many Stage 1 squares are in Stage 2?

How many Stage 2 squares are in Stage 3?

How many Stage 3 squares are in Stage 4?

How many Stage 1 squares are in Stage 3?

How many Stage 1 squares are in Stage 4?

Do you see a pattern here? Explain.
Name: __________________               Class: ___________                     Date: ________

How do your drawings of the Sierpinski Carpet and answers from above represent another
example of iteration?

If the process described above is repeated an infinite number of times, the outcome will be the
Sierpinski Carpet (shown in the pictures on the previous page).

1. Patterns in the Sierpinski Carpet
In a discussion with your group members, what are some patterns that you see developing
in the Sierpinski Carpet? For example, take a look at the number of squares, both shaded
and unshaded, edge lengths, and fractional parts.

2. Exploring The Perimeter of the Sierpinski Carpet
Let’s take a closer look at the perimeter of the Sierpinski Carpet by analyzing the square
at each stage and looking for patterns. Assume that the measure of each side of the stage
0 square has a length of one, and we will define perimeter as any interior or exterior
exposed edge. Fill in the table below for stages 0 – 5. Please use fractions in your
(NOTE: Number of squares refers to the number of small squares left after the removal of
the middle squares.)

Stage                    0        1        2         3        4        5        …         n
Number of Squares        1
Length of                1
Each Side
Perimeter of             4
Each Square
Total Perimeter          4
Ratio of Total
Perimeter to Previous

a. Looking at the pattern of the number of squares, how many squares do you think will be
in the Stage 7 square? the Stage 15 square? the Stage n square? Describe the pattern in
words and symbols.

b. Looking at the pattern of the length of each side, how long would the side of a square be
in the Stage 7 square? the Stage 15 square? the Stage n square? Describe the pattern in
words and symbols.
Name: __________________         Class: ___________                       Date: ________

c. Looking at the pattern of the perimeter of each square, what is the perimeter of each
square in the Stage 7 square? the Stage 15 square? the Stage n square? Describe the
pattern in words and symbols.

d. Looking at the pattern of the total perimeter, what is the total perimeter in the Stage 7
square? the Stage 15 square? the Stage n square? Describe the pattern in words and
symbols.

e. What do you notice about the ratio of the total perimeter to the previous perimeter? Why
does this pattern occur?

f. What types of functions do your Stage n squares represent? Why?

Draw a sketch of the graphs of each of the functions represented in parts a – d.
Name: __________________               Class: ___________                       Date: ________

g. Do you see any connections between the shape of the graphs and your generalizations of
the perimeter discoveries in parts a – d?

happen in each case above as the process of creating the Sierpinski Carpet is done an
infinite number of times? Explain your findings.

3. Exploring the Area of the Sierpinski Carpet
Now, let’s take a closer look at the area of the Sierpinski Carpet by analyzing the square
at each stage and looking for patterns. Assume that the area of the stage 0 square is 1.

Stage                    0         1        2         3        4         5        …         n
Number of Squares        1
Area of Each Square      1

Area to Previous

a. Looking at the pattern of the area of each square, what is the area of each square in the
Stage 7 square? the Stage 15 square? the Stage n square? Describe the pattern in words
and symbols.

b. Looking at the pattern of the total shaded area, what is the total shaded area in the Stage 7
square? the Stage 15 square? the Stage n square? Describe the pattern in words and
symbols.
Name: __________________          Class: ___________                      Date: ________

c. Looking at the pattern of the total unshaded area, what is the total unshaded area in the
Stage 7 square? the Stage 15 square? the Stage n square? Describe the pattern in words
and symbols.

d. What do you notice about the ratio of the total area to the previous area? Why does this
pattern occur?

e. What do you notice about the ratio of the total unshaded area to the total shaded area?
Why does this pattern occur?

f. What types of functions do your Stage n squares represent? Why?

Draw a quick sketch of the graphs of each of the functions represented in parts a – c.

h.
Name: __________________          Class: ___________                      Date: ________

g. Do you see any connections between the shape of the graphs and your generalizations of
the area discoveries in parts a – c?