Challenges show a fun side to learning maths

(From left) Students Callum Anslow, Stella Sousa, William Udy, Amber Steele, Becca Parr, Lauren Page and Leanne Wilson make a 20-sided structure out of straws
(From left) Students Callum Anslow, Stella Sousa, William Udy, Amber Steele, Becca Parr, Lauren Page and Leanne Wilson make a 20-sided structure out of straws

LETTER OF THE DAY: Housing - more needs to be done

0
Have your say

There were no dry algebraic sums or times tables in sight when dozens of students explored the fun side of maths.

Fifty-five 11 and 12-year-olds from seven schools in the Havant Federation got stuck into a range of hands-on challenges for the special one-off event at Cowplain Community School.

Activities included bridge-building to transport a marble, designing and making a 10-second marble run and even making a 20-sided icosahedron out of straws.

The University of Portsmouth also supported the event with a Fun Maths Roadshow, providing students with a range of games and puzzles such as making a perfectly-shaped cube out of interlocking blocks of different sizes.

Horndean student Rebecca Parr, 11, enjoyed the marble run which required students to create a tube out of card, plastic bottles and Sellotape to keep a marble moving for as close to 10 seconds as possible.

She says: ‘I like maths, but the day made me like it even more because it was so fun and different – we were learning about maths in a way we’d never experienced before.

‘The best bit was making the marble run, because that had to be exactly right in order to work.

‘We had to think about the angles to give the marble enough momentum to keep moving.

‘It was a challenge, but we really enjoyed it.

‘Our team was the first to finish making it and we managed to keep the marble running for the longest amount of time!’

Rebecca Hewett, 12, also from Horndean, says: ‘You wouldn’t have thought the activities were about maths, but they were and we all learnt a lot and had fun.’

Neil Cater, who teaches maths at Horndean, was thrilled with positive feedback from students. He says: ‘It’s been a great opportunity to take students out of the classroom to learn in a different environment and, ultimately, for them to discover that maths is happening all around us every day – even more so than they might have thought.

‘The day has made maths more fun and accessible to the students.

‘They even wanted to spend their break and lunchtime carrying on with the activities so they didn’t miss out!’