Aiden, a 7th grader from New York, won a 2011 Young Naturalist Award for his work on the effect the arrangement of limbs and leaves has on a tree during photosynthesis. He this by building a solar collector, to act as an analogue for the tree, that was modeled after the pattern that he saw among the limbs. This pattern conforms to the Fibonnaci number where Fn = (Fn-1) + (Fn -2) so the numbers progress like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, … Not only is was this a good observation on his part, but it also lead to a solar system that is more effective at capturing sunlight than a similarly sized linear array. On the order of 20% in the summer and 50% in the winter.
Great job Aiden!
Read the full article and learn more: