Each year we celebrate Mathematics Week at Strathcona by encouraging students to become involved in activities which are an expression of Mathematics in a new way or to use Mathematics in a real life application. This philosophy extends through both the Junior and Senior Schools.
This year we have explored innovative ways for the girls to establish a greater connection with their mathematics through practical activities in relevant and relatable contexts. We have looked at Mathematics in Gothic Architecture – the girls have been creating images of trefoils and quatrefoils like those seen on many churches and gothic buildings such as those on Melbourne’s St Paul’s Cathedral which incorporates iconic trefoils as part of its design.
We’ve also looked at Mathematics in Code Breaking – students have learnt about different code braking strategies and the use of patterns in words, common letters and number patterns to decipher codes. Games have also featured in the classroom this week with active participation in solving a rubik’s cube or playing UNO and Blokus which have either a mathematical basis or where mathematics is a central strategy.
Our Year 9 students at Tay Creggan have participated in a Mathematics of Origami activity and have created some artistic pieces as part of their Maths Week activities. In addition to this all students and staff in the Senior School have been competing in an Online Mathematics Quiz with a winner from each year level. Today our Year 7s competed in a very noisy and fun Mathematics Relay with the challenge of answering questions as a team or an individual as quickly as possible.
We finished the week in Senior School with the Grand Final Play Off of Connect Four in the Senior Centre. Year 11 and 12 students have been battling it out in elimination relays through this week to crown our ultimate Champion, which we will announce in next week’s eNews.
In Junior School we have embraced Mathematics week with great excitement. We used this week to open our classrooms to parents and family on Tuesday, who were invited to come and work together with their children on Maths activities which was a great success. Lunch time activities were also on offer with all students invited to participate. Girls were assisted here by the Year 6 House and Vice Captains and participated in constructing 3D shapes, coding as well as creating unique designs and patterns using tangrams. A great sense of collaboration and enthusiasm to learning has been felt during all activities.
For each student regardless of age, it is important for us to find something in Mathematics that appeals to every person. This can be an aesthetic appreciation of Mathematical concepts, a satisfaction of solving a puzzle or problem, seeing the real life use and application of Mathematics, enjoying the struggle of solving a problem, seeing the links between different concepts or as simple as learning a new skill.
“The study of mathematics, like the Nile, begins in minuteness but ends in magnificence.” Charles Caleb Colton
Tracy Herft, Head of Mathematics