Links and Resources
- Caltech educational site: Guide to Snowflakes
- American Mathematical Society: Simulated Snowflakes
- University of Arkansas educational site: Math & Snowflakes
- Smithsonian Collection: Snowflake Study
- Smithsonian Institution: Wilson A. Bentley snowflakes
- Nobel Prize in Physics 2008: Passion For Symmetry
This game gives children the opportunity not just to observe symmetry in nature, but also to learn by doing. Children form the shapes on screen that unfold before their eyes. This allows them to interact directly with a difficult but important concept found in math, science, architecture and more.
“The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order, symmetry, and limitation; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful.” —Aristotle
Our games allow young learners to easily connect with big educational concepts from an early age. With Snowflake Station, Mrs. Judd worked with the KBooM! design team to advance the learning potential in the classic activity of cutting paper snowflakes.
Here, we provide three real-world examples of why we chose this game as a teaching moment:
- Direct Interaction With Big Mathematical Concepts Snowflakes can explain a lot of major concepts within math and geometry. One example from the University of Arkansas website on math and snowflakes is the “Koch Snowflake”: a line can be divided into three equal parts to create an equilateral triangle, and each of those can be broken down into three equal points to create a snowflake. With the paper snowflake activity and its iPad cousin, children see those same basic ideas about symmetry, shape and form and can apply them to later study.
- Real-World Importance of Symmetry Symmetry is a difficult but important concept in early learning. In fact, the 2008 Nobel Prize for Physics was given to Yoichiro Nambu, who discovered that symmetry could even be used to predict the arrangement of subatomic particles, a discovery that could be applied to the origin of the universe and the Big Bang Theory. Symmetry can be applied to something as little as a snowflake or as big as the universe itself. Amazing!
- Engages Young Learners With Whimsy and Imagination The beauty of snowflakes has been capturing the imaginations of learners for centuries. For example, American photographer Wilson A. Bentley took more than 5,000 photomicrographs of individual snowflake crystals, leading to the conclusion that no two are alike.