The project was co-ordinated separately in England,
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Early in 2000, ICMS was awarded the
contract to co-ordinate Maths Year 2000 in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish
Executive Education Department. ICMS has always had as one of its aims the
general promotion of mathematics and was glad to be able to take advantage of
this opportunity to promote mathematics in Scotland. Although Maths Year 2000
Scotland was part of the wider UK project, the differences between the
education systems of Scotland and the rest of the UK meant that it was
organised rather differently in Scotland and many new materials had to be
developed. The project was launched in Edinburgh at Our Dynamic
Earth on 28 February.
|2000 was an important year
internationally for the promotion of mathematics. The International
Mathematical Union designated 2000 World Year of Mathematics and as a result
numerous mathematical projects were organised all over the world.
same year, the UK government launched Maths Year 2000 with the objective of
raising the profile of mathematics by providing resources for schools,
organising and supporting a series of events nationwide, and working with many
other organisations in order to promote mathematics.
Maths Year 2000 Scotland was directed by a
Steering Group appointed by SEED. ICMS employed Scott Keir to work full-time on
Maths Year 2000 Scotland. Scott, together with other ICMS staff, planned and
organised all the events that took place during the year and developed many of
the materials used. Later in the project Teresa Carr joined ICMS staff in
running Maths Roundabout Workshops.
The Maths Year 2000 Scotland
website can be accessed from the ICMS home page and contains details of the
projects undertaken as well as links to useful mathematical sites.
main achievements of the year were as follows:
- The organisation of 10 Maths Roundabout events in
towns and cities throughout Scotland. These events were largely aimed at
parents, teachers and children up to 15 years. Around 8000 people visited Maths
Roundabout events over the year. (See below for more details.)
- The creation of a website which contained listings of all
school-level and promotional mathematical activities in Scotland, copies of
Maths Year 2000 publications and links to other useful resources. ICMS also
published an email bulletin every month from July to December.
- The distribution of support materials to schools. All primary
schools received booklets called It all adds up, aimed at parents
of new-entry primary-school children. At the end of the year, Resource Packs
for schools were distributed. There were three packs, each aimed at a different
group, and they contained a substantial body of resources and material, some of
which had already proved its worth in Scottish Schools and some of which was
especially commissioned. These Resource Packs will form a lasting legacy of
Maths Year 2000 Scotland.
Maths RoundaboutICMS developed a flexible model
for events, based around workshops, hands-on activities and displays. The
make-up of each event depended on the size and age of the audience and the
level of involvement of schools and parents.
||Scott Keir explaining different
types of symmetries found in patchwork patterns at a Maths Roundabout event.
The events were as follows:
- May Galashiels (SE Scotland) a day of
mathematical activities for the whole community.
- June Elgin (N Scotland) provision of mathematical
workshops and family day activities for the Moray Science
- August Edinburgh events and activities for the
general public during the Edinburgh International Arts Festival, including an
entry in the Festival Cavalcade and distribution of leaflets drawing attention
to the links between mathematics and the arts.
- September Orkney workshops and activities for a
family day as part of the Orkney Science Festival.
- September Aberdeen (NE Scotland) hands-on
activities at the Family Weekend of Techfest.
- September Glasgow participation in the Glasgow
Learning Festival, involving the creation and distribution to nurseries of
material for pre-school children and their parents.
- November Ayrshire (SW Scotland) series of
workshops for primary and younger secondary pupils from schools all over South
- November Perth (central Scotland) in-service day
for teachers, based on Resource Pack material.
- December - Coatbridge (central Scotland) workshops for
younger secondary school children.
- December Dundee (E Scotland) workshops for 400
pupils from secondary and primary schools.
solids formed the core of several workshops and investigations developed
for primary pupils as well as appearing in the Festival Calvalcade, promoting
Maths Year 2000 Scotland.
|The Straws and Structures
workshop was especially suited to children who were not keen on school
mathematics but liked to make things, exploring the ways that the regular flat
shapes they produced could be fitted together in three dimensions.
workshops could be adjusted to suit different age ranges, from creating
simple nested pop-up cards, to more complex activities exploring the
relationship between Pascals Triangle and the Sierpinksi Gasket .
|Hoberman Spheres were
eyecatching, fun to play with and immensely popular as hands-on exhibits. (We
should have negotiated a franchise and become rich!) Their expanding mechanism
and construction from great circles provided an excellent demonstration of many
aspects of spherical geometry.
||The aperiodic nature
of Penrose tiling managed to prove a challenge to children and adults
alike as the final activity in an introductory workshop on the classification
provided an opportunity for everyone at a family event to participate by
constructing components of these towers. The highest tower we achieved was at
Aberdeen, where Madeleine Shepherd measured the tower at 2.90 metres. The
destruction of the tower at the end of the day was also undertaken with glee!
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