Have students compete calculating to the 50th Fibonacci number, one team of humans doing the math versus a team students writing a program to stress the importance of computing for calculations.

  • Have groups of 2-3 students work together to try calculate the 50th Fibonacci number using pencil and paper.
  • Have another group (or groups) of students write code that will calculate the same Fibonacci number.
  • Pick a number high Fibonacci number, like the 50th, so that the computer calculation takes a minute or two, giving the humans have a chance to do the calculation and beat the computer.
    • An instantaneous answer that only takes the computer a few seconds to calculate doesn’t pose students with a challenge.

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External Source

Interview with Brandon R. Rodriguez