Annabeth represented St Clare’s at the BT Young Scientist event in January

Believe it or not: Maths for anxiety reduction is a BT Young Scientists project by Annabeth Drohan from St. Clare’s Comprehensive School.  Annabeth represented the school at the Young Scientist Exhibition in Dublin in January. Her project investigated the effect of fractal geometry on students’ wellbeing. Annabeth has described her project for us in her own words:

So, what is a fractal? A fractal is a type of mathematical shape that is infinitely complex. In essence, a fractal is a pattern that repeats forever, and every part of the fractal, regardless of how zoomed in or out it is, is very similar to the whole image. Fractals are visible everywhere in nature, for example trees and clouds. There is a theory that humans are naturally attracted to these fractals- this is connected to the idea of biophilia. I created a worksheet and survey where I had students construct and colour a Sierpinski triangle which is a type of fractal. From my results I found that 54% of students surveyed had an increase in relaxation after completing this task. I think this is very positive as it shows that maths actually has the potential to lower a student’s stress levels. I think its very important for students to see how maths can be applied in different ways. If students can approach maths with a different perspective, hopefully it can help them avoid being held back by preconceptions surrounding maths being a tough subject.