Fractals are SMART: Science, Math and Art!

Fractal Challenge

The Albuquerque Fractal Challenge is a design competition for students in elementary, middle and high school.

Students from anywhere in New Mexico are invited to participate in the Seventh Annual Albuquerque Fractal Challenge, though currently only students from the Greater Albuquerque area are eligible to have their winning fractals installed on buildings.

Submission deadline for the eighth Albuquerque Fractal Challenge is December 31, 2018 (we are changing the competition to a biennial competition [every two years])!


A winning fractal from the third annual Fractal Challenge, made by 5th grader Ayanna H. This artwork can be seen on the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, NM.

The easiest way to participate is to have the Fractal Foundation come to your school and teach a whole class how to create fractal art using the free XaoS software.

Alternately, interested students can simply download the software and follow the instructions to learn how to use the software to explore fractals. Then, follow the submission guidelines below.

Fractal artwork will be judged on beauty, originality and interest. Prizes will consist of printed enlargements of the winning students’ fractal artworks. We are currently seeking additional sponsors to fund the enlargement of the winning images on billboards or on the sides of buildings. Many thanks to Albuquerque’s Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, Resolution Graphics, and Clear Channel Outdoor for supporting the Albuquerque Fractal Challenge!

Please contact us to submit your fractal entry, or for more information about the Albuquerque Fractal Challenge.

Submission Guidelines:

All fractal entries must be submitted electronically via email. You must send us both the fractal image AND the fractal parameters which will allow us to recreate the fractal at high resolution. The Xaos program has 2 save commands you must use to do this, both located in the “File” menu. The first, simply called “Save,” will create a file such as “fractal1.xpf”, where “xpf” stands for ‘xaos parameter file’. The second, called “Save Image,” will create a file such as “fractal1.png”, which is an image file.

Only one fractal may be submitted per person, so please choose your artwork carefully. When you have chosen your favorite, please name the files ‘yourname’.xpf and ‘yourname’.png and send both the files to:


By submitting your fractal to the Albuquerque Fractal Challenge, you grant the Fractal Foundation permission to reproduce your artwork for promotional purposes. You will retain copyright to the work, and you will always be credited when your fractal is reproduced in public and in our promotional material.

Thanks for participating, and have fun exploring fractals!