Some Symmetries Seen in Our World

Kevin Adams, Jeremy Elrod and Jake Klerlein

This web site has been designed with the intentions of allowing the reader to actively determine some of the many symmetries found in the natural world. Having a desire to learn more about where symmetries may be found in the environment around us, we began perusing various web sites. As occurs quite often when surfing the web we were drawn to various topics of interest. Due to the fact that we had recently studied the differing types of wheel symmetries, cyclic and dihedral, one symmetry found in nature which grabbed our attention are those wheel patterns found in the blooms of many flowers. Hoping to not be unidimensional in our investigations, we continued surfing for other topics of interest. We shortly came to relate the symmetries found in the coloring of snake's skins to the type of symmetry known as strip symmetry. It is with these two aspects of symmetries in the natural world that we focus our investigations.

The broad vision of this web page is that it may also function as a learning tool for students and teachers at various grade levels. To take full advantage of the design one should have access to The Geometer's Sketchpad (GSP) as well as Microsoft Word (or a word processing program which translates word documents) and Microsoft's Powerpoint. Also, it would be helpful for one to have their web browser configured with a decompression application so as to allow compressed files to be opened. Ideally these files would be saved to the desktop for easiest access. At the present time Netscape is the most effective browser for one to use. In the near future this site will be more PC and Internet Explorer friendly.

To discuss the wheel patterns which are seen in the blossoms of many flowers start with the link below:

Symmetries of various flowers

If one is more inclined to consider the strip symmetries found in the coloring of various snakes then choose the link which follows.

Strip symmetries in the coloring of snake's skin

We would like to note that some of the readers of this page may determine different symmetries for the given objects than we have found. Each of us would enjoy being able to discuss these discrepancies so we include our email addresses and encourage people to use this resource.

Kevin Adams:

Jeremy Elrod:

Jake Klerlein:

Again with the thought in mind that this page may be a resource for teachers and students, please send any work you produce to I would be very interested in reading your efforts and linking new investigations to this site. For example, if one were taken by the notion of finding more pictures and creating a page that discussed the symmetries of these objects, then please send me your work so we may let others learn from this as well. With this idea in mind I suggest the following links to web pages created by classmates of mine which deal with some various topics of symmetry.

Kelli Nipper and Shannon Umberger's Symmetry in Architecture

David Miller and Natalie Smith's Symmetry of Snow Flakes