Discover patterns! 

Crack codes! Get skills!

Unbox Beautiful Discovery monthly! Get skills while decoding awesome natural patterns. A beautiful way to learn. 

Learn to decode and model nature's patterns with colorful tiles, sprites, origami, and code. Boxes include eco-games, drag and drop code, art exercises, origami, instructional cards, picture books, and natural wonders. These engage your senses with vivid intersection of art, science, math, technology and nature.

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Begin your adventure 

Decode Lizards & Shells

A pattern of lizard tiles dazzles the eye, lizards compete for territory in a computer model, Mountainkin challenge each other for dominance. We engage the senses by including items, like origami, that are visually and texturally engaging. The seashells in this box have a fascinating pattern that you can recreate with our simple worksheet. That leads into simple coding with which you can create these fascinating patterns with a computer.

This box introduces pattern discovery, decoding, and modeling. To make these concepts visually engaging and place them into the context of nature and ecology, we include a simple picture book on modeling ecological patterns and colorful cards introducing pattern decoding and computer coding. It features a simple card game, with accompanying drag and drop code to show how to translate a card game to computer code. We take you on a STEM adventure! Explore tiling patterns on lizards, quartz crystals and origami, not only by appreciating their innate beauty, but with art, science, and math. 

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Secret Code of Flowers:

Golden Ratio Spirals

Be dazzled! Explore the hypnotic beauty of nature’s spirals! We include natural treasures—pinecones, sea shells, and daisies. 

Get creative! The art activities, easy online computer models, and spiral coloring book give you the opportunity to express your artistic side while learning about floral spirals and the mathematics involved in this natural organizational pattern. 

Through our movies and instructional cards that present these complex concepts in a concise and relatable fashion, you will learn about the Golden Angle, irrational numbers, and why the arms of floral spirals are Fibonacci numbers.

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Parabolas & Paraboloids

The parabola is a pattern hidden throughout nature. Get an intuitive feel for this by making 3D models of parabolas and paraboloids using origami, stick frames, and cones,  Also includes science booklet and drag and drop code. 

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Code of Behavior: 

Modeling Peer Pressure

Be an influencer! Can you convince others to shift to your way of thinking? This colorful strategy game transports you into the world of the delightful Meadowkin, while showing you how social pressure results in capricious dietary fads. 

The game is a simple model of behavior, showing oscillations in fads. You will see how binge eating, abstaining, and moderation, oscillate one after another in the game.  

The cardboard game comes with computer code for the game. You can use this drag and drop code online to learn more about how to model social dynamics and even how to code the model (in Scratch or NetLogo). Or just play the game and have fun!  

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Barely Balanced:

Decoding Ecosystems

This board game is a barely balanced ecosystem. You can choose between two environments, a sandy island where space and resources are limited or a microbial world where players compete for domination and infection of their host. Will you be the winner? Try to tip it in your favor (2-4 players). Included are computer coding cards, online computer models, art activities, instructional movies, and real seashells. Immerse yourself in these competitive worlds where balance is the key to survival. 

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Simplicity of Symmetry:

Regular Polyhedra & logarithmic spirals

In this box, you explore elegant symmetrical patterns that are constructed with simple rules, including the five symmetrical 3D objects (“Platonic solids”). All five of these shapes are found in mineral crystals, a few of which we include in the box. Also enclosed is a fluorite octahedron, and accompanying drawing exercise demonstrates the role of looking deeply in art and science.

We explore another kind of symmetry that is even more common in nature: symmetry across scales, large and small. An example is a logarithmic spiral. The first kind of logarithmic spiral we build out of squares (enclosed). Then, we use code to make smooth logarithmic spirals. The included Ammonite fossil is a logarithmic spiral. We see this spiral in many natural forms. Branching trees also have symmetry across scales. Sometimes these patterns seem complex, but they arise from repeating the same simple rule, like turning or splitting into two while getting slightly smaller or larger each time. Our webpages include models of all these patterns 

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Decoding Segregation:

Tolerance & Attraction

Red and Blue take turns trying to make their crabs happy. Each crab only requires three neighbors like themselves to be happy, accepting up to five neighbors that are different. 

Sounds tolerant, right? Yet segregation usually results. Thus, the game simulates an important social dynamic. 

A classic model of segregation inspired this game. 

A second version of the game included simulates integration. Comes with easy computer models of segregation.  

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Frozen Fractals

 

Exploring the patterns of snowflakes, frost fern and music, we include a real music box (playing the "frozen fractal" song from the movie Frozen). We examine real frost fern as it appears on windows, snowflakes, and draw them with a scratch board. We code the music box, snowflake growth, ferns and trees, all with simple drag and drop blocks. Looking deeply at nature's fractals, we examine the simple rules that give rise to frozen fractals and similar life patterns.

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Grazers & Hunters

This board game is a predator-prey system. Try to gain the most elk and grass through strategic grazing and hunting. Comes with booklet, coding cards, easy models and movies.

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Social networks & infection

Includes easy online models of disease spread, protective behavior, and school closure, along with cardboard game models "Sneeze" and social networks. We also include a 3D icosahedral virus model.

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Decoding Nature's Broken Symmetries

 

From flowers to crystals to atomic particles, nature abounds with broken symmetries. Play with floral shapes, making 3D models with broken symmetry, the Trillium flower, the hexagonal Mountain Laurel. Included is a pyritohedral piece of iron pyrite and a large model of the pyritohedron (a dodecahedron with some symmetry broken). See how reducing symmetry opens up new practical possibilities and new beauty

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Pendulums and Music of the Spheres

Find out what orbits in our solar system have in common with music. This box includes harmonic motion pendulums, a pendulum that paints its oscillations, code, pan pipes and a music box that plays Hedwig's theme. As in music, the solar system orbits show ratios of two to one, three to two and four to three. 

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Code included in each box

Each ecogame has a beautiful cardboard version and a colorful drag and drop code version. Likewise we provide colorful drag and drop code for natural patterns like floral spirals, to accompany the coloring book. This cardboard to code method makes coding visual, tangible, and kinesthetic. The code is not necessary to play the games, do the art, or grasp the lessons, but sure is a nice bonus.

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Each month you get a different

mix of eco-games, code and art

Some months you get a large life pattern board game, featuring colorful game art and interesting creature. Other months you get smaller pattern games, books, art activities, and colorful information cards. Each month you get easy to use coding cards and access to online computer code versions of the games in drag and drop and more advanced versions. We include natural treasures laden with patterns that we decode.

Each box comes with a lesson for an adult or teen alone, or for a preteen with adult guidance. Each box works as standalone lesson that integrates all items for that month. Yet the lessons also progressively build STEAM skills across the monthly boxes in an optional course that comes as a bonus with any ongoing subscription 

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Makes the perfect gift

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Need more reasons to sign up?

  • A monthly kit of adventures exploring beautiful patterns of life, from the perspectives of all STEAM subjects
  • Deepen your pattern awareness and see more beauty in life while getting valuable skills needed for STEAM careers 
  • Our eco-games, code, origami and art simulate spirals, stripes, flocks and other emergent patterns in biology, ecology, or behavior. See the patterns also in natural wonders, such as real pine cones, shells, minerals, leaves, all included in the boxes
  • Learn coding with life pattern games in colorful cardboard and code versions. Play the cardboard games, then see the game rules coded to model real life patterns
  • The boxes elegantly integrate STEAM subjects and cross-cuts all the New Generation Science Standards (NGSS)  
  • Each box comes with a lesson for an adult or teen alone, or for a preteen with adult guidance. Each box works as standalone lesson that integrates all items for that month. Yet the lessons also progressively build STEAM skills across the monthly boxes in an optional course that comes as a bonus with any ongoing subscription
  • Like a forest walk or a museum visit, Beautiful Discovery is accessible to all, yet endlessly stimulating the deeper one goes. While it includes easy access science-oriented games, drag-and drop Scratch coding, stories and art activities for preteens to enjoy, it also includes fascinating lessons for adults or teens