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Mirror Maze coming to Fernbank Museum this summer

This summer, Fernbank Museum invites guests to embark on a journey to discover the mathematical patterns that surround us in nature and how they are used in other ways.

Opening June 8, 2024, “A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature” tells the story of patterns found in every aspect of our world — from the veins of a leaf to the internal structures that form large buildings — and more.

“A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature” is an interactive and immersive exhibit that highlights four separate types of patterns found in the world: Spirals, Voronoi patterns, Fractals and the Golden Ratio. The crown jewel of this exhibit is a 1,700 sq. ft mirror maze that reflects fractal patterns — a phenomenon created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop.

This exhibit opens with an immersive theater presentation displaying footage of nature, the human body, and even art and architecture, superimposed with graphics demonstrating the mathematical patterns beneath these familiar scenes. From there, guests enter the impressive mirror maze for an immersive experience that demonstrates the fractal pattern often found in nature. This maze features motion-activated elements that flash on the mirrors themselves, for a truly interactive venture.

From here, “A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature” opens to a variety of hands-on and digital interactives, from a two-way mirror superimposition that demonstrates patterns on your body to a station that allows guests to compose a piece of music to explore symmetry. Guests will also be able to draw patterns on a digital screen, observe fractals creating a computergenerated landscape and more. The exhibit also features an array of artifacts — Bighorn sheep antlers, honeycomb and an aluminum anthill casting — that demonstrate real examples of patterns in objects from the natural world. Humans have been using nature’s patterns to design modern innovations for years; computer animation, architecture, musical composition and more are influenced by mathematical patterns commonly found in nature. For example, the same pattern that’s found in the foam on your latte can create the structure that supports an Olympic stadium!

“By showcasing that fascinating numerical patterns are all around us, we hope kids and adults alike discover not only how math and other STEM elements are present in our daily lives but also how these natural occurrences can inspire exciting innovations in art, science and more,” says Dr. Olivia Castellini, Sr. Exhibit Strategist, Museum of Science + Industry, Chicago.

“A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature” is open June 8 – Sept. 9, 2024. This exhibit will be included with General Admission at Fernbank Museum. For more information, please visit

“A Mirror Maze: Numbers in Nature” is designed and developed by the Museum of Science + Industry, Chicago. Local support provided by the Isdell Family Foundation. Additional support provided by the Frances Wood Wilson Foundation.

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