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I’ve just returned from two weeks of annual leave - five days touring Sri Lanka followed by ten days beachcombing in the Maldives.
Apart from a healthy glow, tourist gifts and a longing for warmer climate I also brought back hundreds of photos and memories, many of which have a mathematical slant.
I was captivated by a lake in Udawalawa National Park - playing spot the difference between the object and image is an interesting challenge. Have you spotted the problem with the photo yet?
My first ever adventure on a seaplane led me to be staring at the controls almost as much as out of the window - trying to work out what dial measured what, the units being used - and what speed I would hit the water at if I jumped out!
One of my greatest loves on such a trip is scuba diving. For me nothing beats the feeling of weightlessness in the ocean, admiring the sea life that wanders by, which this time included large white tip reef shark, manta, octopuses, and endless tropical fish. This pastime is filled with mathematical calculations and problems. Wearing equipment that includes a weight belt in kilograms (sometimes pounds), I keep a close eye on my depth in metres (sometimes feet), bottom time in minutes, and air left in my tank in bar (sometimes psi).
It’s only really now as I type this that I get a true appreciation of how much maths is involved in my favourite pastime. Whether converting between units, reading scales or using tables of information, I couldn’t take part in any form of the activity without some amount of mathematical literacy.
Can you share the maths involved in your hobbies or pastimes with us? How does maths enable you to participate in an activity?
SOMETHING TO TRY:
KS1: Ask the pupils to explain how the scoring on this dart board works and why they think 180 is such a special score (in three darts).
KS2: Ask the pupils to think about a game they play and to explain how the scoring works.
KS3: Ask the pupils to list all their pastimes and think about how maths is needed/used in each one.
KS4/5: Ask the pupils to investigate the meaning and use of this table or investigate the formulae and calculations here