As I said in a previous post (this one: Lucy (2014) ) I did a week as a Festival Assistant at the beginning of September at TechFest in Aberdeen. Firstly, you need to know that TechFest is Aberdeen and the North-East Scotland’s annual festival of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and is widely acknowledged as a major event in the annual calendar of the region. There are activities for all ages and tastes. And this year I could be part of the team and help them with some of the things for it.
As you can see in the photo above there were activities for all kind of people and all ages. And I will just briefly describe some of the math-related activities for all the categories.
1. Early Years and Primary School. Sometimes it is a little harder to do math with them and don’t get them bored and all the activities were really interactive. And also I have helped more in this department so I am well informed on how hard it is to get them focused on a specific activity. Kid K’nex Towers was giving the pupils the opportunity to understand and identify the problems associated with the construction of towers. They were also introduced to the shapes and structures that engineers use to address these problems. A great way to show a little bit of math applied to the sphere of constructions. Maths Around the World was about building confidence mostly. There were different puzzles, representing different countries and it was all about solving the puzzles and having fun . The workshop started with the idea that they will find out more about the countries they visited, but in the end they told them that they did mathematics in fact. Help and encouragement was everything in this workshop. Cracking Maths was more about everyday math such as time, fractions and problem solving using multiplication and division. The creative part came from the fact that everything was made as if the kids were having a visit to an offshore oil platform. Build Your Own Cable Support Bridge gave children the opportunity to build a 7m span cable stayed suspension bridge to walk across and then take it apart. Civil engineers help them understand some great math principles practical engineering principles, but also team work and safety issues. And this were the math related workshops. I personally have participated in other workshops, too. More physics or chemistry related things and enjoyed the kids great reactions to different experiments.
2. Secondary School. Now for the Secondary school the things are changed a little. If you could see workshops only about math, but more like math together with physics. But this is still a great thing. On the same (more or less) topic are Asset Generation and Take the Risk?, which were about the oil and gas industry and the services they offer; also about taking risks and their effects in daily life. On the other hand, there were a lot of physics related workshops such as A History of Electricity and Magnetism (where they had the mathematical equations that control electricity and magnetism), A History of Astronomy and The Goldilocks Effect . An interesting workshop was Thy Physics of Blood Spatter – How Pythagoras can Solve a Murder where they had to talk about interpretation of blood patterns as critical in investigating violent crime and also about the patterns of blood spatter at the murder scene and on a suspect’s clothing which can provide valuable investigative information. The talk explored the formation of blood droplets in blood spatter, why the knowledge of how to calculate the surface of area and volume of a spherical blood droplet can be be important and why trigonometry and Pythagoras are so important in calculating where blood spatter was directed from a crime scene. I believe this was a great workshop and combined other sciences with math.
3. Other Festival Activities. There were so many other activities spread everywhere in the city and around it that it will be horrendous to enumerate them to you know. Unfortunately there were not many math related things, just some together with other topic. To make just an idea of how many things there were, here is the brochure: Public Programme. One of the most interesting things for me was the fact that you could see ‘The Travelling Salesman’ ( a thriller following four mathematicians hired by the US government to try and solve one of the most challenging mathematical problems in history). You can watch the trailer here:
This is another movie I have to put on my list of Math Movies I have to see.
Hope you liked this post, and if you would like to know more email me at LThMathematics@gmail.com Any feedback is appreciated so use the like and share buttons and also comment below with any other science festivals you know about from all over. I would like to know your opinion about them.
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