“Mirror mirror on the wall, what is Mathematics for?” This was the central question at the Maths Fair at our school. What Sports Day is to P.E., the Maths Fair is to Mathematics. It is a festive day where students work together to promote a better attitude towards Mathematics and to share their appreciation and joy towards it.
Students from class 9.2 together with their teacher Ms Analise Camilleri, spent days preparing props and decorations in order to set up the school foyer with charts, games, and activities. Isaac Attard made a Mathematics game using MineCraft which was on display in the hall for students to play, whilst Thea Vidal and Nicole Sciberras baked healthy baked goods cut into different shapes and students had to find their area and perimeter. All the students from this class helped in one way or another to make this day a memorable one for the students.
The whole foyer was bursting with charts showing proofs, explanations, history, and Mathematics related events such as Pi Day. Some charts consisted of recycled bottle caps glued to form words, shapes and equations whilst another had a foil mirror asking students how they use Mathematics in their daily lives. Year 10 students from differenti classes took photos all around the school to show that Mathematics is in fact all around us.
Tables were set across all of the foyer and were covered with puzzles, logic games, and brainteasers. There were papers with Sudoku, magic squares, match stick puzzles, elastic cubes, tangrams, and a whole plethora of other activities. Sticks and clay were provided for students to form 3D shapes whilst circular objects and string were provided for students to derive Pi.
There were even outdoor games which involved physical activity. Students had to measure the speed of running students and there were water games involving volume.
Events such as this encourage students to collaborate together and show the enjoyable aspect of Mathematics to others. They see for themselves where the theorems they use in class come from and learn to be innovative and come up with their own solutions to mathematical problems. They also give an opportunity to teachers to teach that little something extra to students which they don’t have time for in class such as the lives of mathematicians, proofs and the history of the subject. Perhaps one day Maths Fairs will be as common as Sports Days, and maybe just as fun.
The following video shows the highlights of this enjoyable Maths activity: