Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


FREAKY FRIDAY: Surd & Absurd Maths Word Maze UK edition

October 25, 2021

PDF file: 1. Crazy math maze work sheet 1 UK

PDF file: 2. Crazy math maze work sheet 2 UK


PDF file: 3. Crazy math maze work sheet ANS UK


MET GALA MATHs for Middle School

September 16, 2021

There is a lot of middle school maths in fashion from design, to fabrication to costing. But it’s much more fun to  see some of the maths in the NY MET GALA outfits.

More on the Wedding Train drag maths here.

More on killer heels here.


6. Find suit pattern information here.

Some of these images came from the fab coverage of the MET GALA at Vogue

Do teachers need fashion help? Funny post here


The Lego Olympics 2020

July 30, 2021


2D Random Walk or doing the Bell Curve Shuffle

July 28, 2021

This is the best Middle School Probability outdoor exercise  EVER!


1 coin per student. 


In the schoolyard, students move back and forward with the flip of a coin. Must be a good flip. This exercise works best with a grid drawn on the schoolyard in chalk, perhaps. (See pic below) If possible film the exercise from above.

Now here are lots of people doing this 2D random Walk on Wall St. The results are totally amazing.



Watch for the Bell Curve. It’s AWESOME.

This video was made by The National Museum of Mathematics NY.

Check out their Squared wheeled bike here.


Real World Maths: Decimal Places + Spotify

August 27, 2020

Here (below) is the fabulous  Melbourne group, Syzygy.

Released Today their fabulous album, The Pendulum. 

Really. Listen.

Mathspig lervs this music and also the ‘mathsy’ album cover too!!!!

But how much money do musicians earn via streaming services like Spotify?

The following information can be found at Business Insider.

What do you think mathspiggies? Is this fair?

If a group managed 20 million streams, which would be sensational, what would they earn?


ZOOM Maths: 3D Animation … Metric units

July 4, 2020

Middle school students around the world have been learning maths via Zoom. ZOOM needs computers & WIFI. There are so many resources online but I cannot over-emphasise the amazing 3D skills developed just by playing with objects in TINKERCAD. (See logo above. More info below) Anyone who wants to work developing video games or animated films has to understand the logic and maths of 3D. Read on. And it is more challenging than you might think.

1. Storyboard Sketches

The Pixar film, Finding Dory, began as storyboard sketches. There were 103,000 drawn for the film. The sketches are placed side-by-side in sequence in order to convey scenes and deliver a rough sense of how the story unfolds.

How many 64-page Exercise books would the storyboard take?

Only one side of the page of the 64-page exercise book would be used for storyboarding.

No. exercise books = 102,000/32  =  3,187.5

If put into flip Book form the storyboard sketches would produce a ‘rough’ version of the film.

Superman Vs Goku


2. Ratio

If you are making a film about, say, Godzilla, you want him to be big. VERY BIG. But he has to share a screen with human characters.

If Godzilla is too big all the humans look like ants.

If he is too small … he looks like a toy TRex.

The Monster Maths:

Height: 108.2m Godzilla’s towering height in the 2014 film—the tallest onscreen incarnation ever

Tail: 167.74m Total length of Godzilla’s spiked tail

Volume: 89,724 m3 Godzilla’s total volume in the 2014 film.

Volume: 90,000 tons Godzilla’s volume if filled with water

Teeth: 1.07m  Length from the root to the tips of Godzilla’s canine teeth

Teeth: 60 Teeth in Godzilla’s mouth

Roar: 4.83km Approximate distance Godzilla’s roar reverberates. (100,000W Power of the 3.7m-high, 5.5m-wide speaker array from which the sound designers blasted Godzilla’s roar to record the sound in a “real world” context)

Feet: 17.66m  Total width of Godzilla’s feet across the widest point

Feet: 18.18m Length of Godzilla’s footprint from toe to heel

You vs Godzilla

The average height for 14-year-old boys in the U.S. is 164 cm.

For 14-year-old girls in the U.S. the average height is 158.75 cm.

Godzilla = 108.2 m  

We’ll assume an average height of, say, 1.6m for a 14 yo.

14 yo =  1.6 m    


108.2/1.6 = 67.6 = 68     


You vs Godzilla’s Footprint

18.18/160 =  11.4         


You vs Godzilla’s Tooth

1.07/1.60 = 0.7                   

Here is Superman vs Godzilla 

A very funny Aussie commentary.  


3. 3D Modeling: Polygon Count

3D modeling can be approached in several ways. There is a good explanation here.

One method is to use a 3D scanner to produce a 3D mesh.

Godzilla model under construction

Digital Godzilla as 3D mesh

The mesh consists of polygons. You’ll find everything you want to know about polygons here.

The greater the no. of polygons the better the resolution in a 3D mesh, the better the  resolution of the character or object as more shading and texture variation can be added.

So the POLYGON COUNT or POLY COUNT is a measure of the quality of an image.

Here are some POLY COUNTS:


500,000 polygons.

It took the 4 CGI artists 6 months to fully nail the texture of Godzilla’s scales. (See above)


Just the space station ran close to 3 trillion polygons.

Transformers 2

Devastator had 13 million polygons

Clash of the Titans

The Kraken had 7 million Polygons.


Apart from some bluescreen shots of live-action actors in cockpits, it’s all CG: gunships, missiles, smoke trails, water, fire, an army of photorealistic virtual characters and a giant tree made of 20 million polygons with 1.2 million leaves.

More here.

Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers (2002)

(See below)

The Gollum head model consisted of just over 2,600 polygons, which were mostly quads.

More here.

Film Animation vs Game Animation

The POLY COUNT is always greater in animated movies than in video games mainly because a higher poly count takes longer and costs more. A higher resolution is needed in a movie as it is shown on a much bigger screen.

Gollum: Game vs Film 3D model

Here are some POLY COUNTS for some popular games:

The Amazing Spiderman

Spiderman – 11,652

Assassin’s Creed 3

Benjamin Franklin – 17,744

Charles Lee – 25,994

Connor Kenway – 28,501

Desmond – 14,934

Haytham Kenya – 19,985

Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Film Version

Batman: Game Model

Batman Beyond suit – 13,050

Harley Quinn – 17,731

Harley Quinn (DLC) – 19,110

Poison Ivy – 15,977

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Frank Woods (full gear) – 19,777

Crysis 2 (console)

Nano suit – 19,073

Multiplayer suit – 27,414



TINKERCAD is the free online resource that allows students to create their own 3D graphs – like Godzilla vs You (above) or 3D images that can be used for 3D printing. Play with the program. Mathspig had a little play and produced the genetically challenged chicken (below).

Tinkercad Dashboard

Find here.

Drag and drop shapes.

More here.

Play with shape dimensions.

More here.

Create figures for 3D printer.

MATHSPIG REPORT CARD: More playing with program needed!!!


FRANTIC FRIDAY: Crazy Maths Word Maze UK edition

February 24, 2020

PDF file: 1. Crazy math maze work sheet 1 UK

PDF file: 2. Crazy math maze work sheet 2 UK


PDF file: 3. Crazy math maze work sheet ANS UK


Why do so many students HATE MATH? … um, you know, BOREDOM

September 28, 2019

According to ‘Bored Out of Their Minds’, an article by ZACHARY JASON in The Harvard Ed Magazine (2017):

Boredom accounts for nearly a third of the variation in student achievement. 

Half of high school dropouts cite boredom as their primary motivator for leaving.

Boredom begins for Math students at Grade 6 when students (Common Core Standards, USA) tackle more abstract concepts such as linear eqns, exponents, probability, geometry and so on.

Math curriculums in the USA, UK & Australia all demand students solve REAL LIFE problems. Too often these are of the type:

Q. Ronaldo has tethered his goat on a 12ft rein in the corner of a 20ft square field. What area can the goat graze?

THE ANS: Who cares?


Ask students maths questions which have answers they want to know.

Students really don’t care about Ronaldo’s goat, but here are some questions which involve intriguing answers they might want to work out. And many of these questions involve funny or age-relevant activities, which also helps engagement.

1. Mean, Median STATS: Mean, Median and Coffee: Busting an Urban Myth

2. Parabolas: Can you beat the 12-14 yo World Record for a Watermelon Pip spit?

3. Geometry: Build a Freestanding Tower

Rates (Speed) & Units:

4a. The Terrifying Math of Running from a bear

USA Units


4b. How old is your hair?

5. Decimals, %, Volume: What Volume of alcohol is lethal for teens?

6. Decimals, Algebra, Weight Units

How much blood can a kid lose and survive?


Metric Units

Graph Hunger Game Math

7. GEOMETRY. Angles

Why killer heels can kill!

Any Topic:

8. Middle School Math Photo Scavenger Hunt

9. Write Your Own Math Song

Space Math Song here

10. Make a Math Poster


The average time it takes an audience at a conference to switch off is 11 minutes. Keep in mind this audience is, at least, being paid to be bored witless.


Outdoor Math Adventures___________ Middle School

September 9, 2019

As the weather improves – Spring in Melbourne, my city & Autumn in USA & UK – it is an ideal time to take math outdoors. Here are some fab exercises for Middle School Math.

Outdoor maths middle school 1 mathspig

Lego Man soccer fields will vary in size depending on the height of each player picked by each student. This does your head in. It is really challenging maths!


Outdoor Maths Middle School 2 Mathspig

McGill Uni link here.

Outdoor Maths MIddle School 3 Mathspig

Don’t forget to throw in Mathspig’s lame protractor jokes.

Outdoor Maths Middle School 4 mathspig

You’ll find full calculations at the Maths is Fun blog.

Outdoor Maths Middle School 5 Mathspig

You’ll find more fab outdoor junior and middle school maths activities at the terrific Maths and Movement blog.

Outdoor Maths Middle school 6 Mathspig

Some students will discover their co-ordinate point is not on the grid. Students should then work out that they will need a different scale for the y-axis. You can get more inspiration at the Stand Again blog.


Dangerous Math: Would You Survive a Shark Attack

July 5, 2019

Aussie Pro surfer, Mick Fanning, grabbed world attention when he was attacked by a shark in the Fanning J-Bay Open, South Africa on Sunday 19 July, 2015. Fanning was knocked off his board and forced to fight for his life. He survived.

1 Mick fanning shark attack

One shark expert suggested the shark was a young great white shark under 3.5 m or 12 ft.

Would you survive a shark attack?

Let’s do the maths.

How fast can a shark swim?

According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History:The torpedo shape of the great white is built for speed: up to 35 miles per hour (50 kilometers per hour). And then there are the teeth — 300 total in up to seven rows.

How fast can you swim?

According to Junior Olympic Games Qualifying Times 2015

For 13-14 yo 100m or 328 ft freestyle:

t girl = 1.15 or 75sec

t boy =1.10. Or 70 sec

Let’s assume you are an average swimmer but highly motivated on seeing a shark:

t kid = 100 secs

So you can swim 100m (328 ft) in 100 sec. But will you survive??????

 Surf Lesson Bluey’s Beach NSW 2009

We’re sooo tough in Australia! Shark, Smark! Whatever.

Picture from Daily Telegraph

Also according to the Smithsonian: Sharks can detect both the direction and amount of movement made by prey, even from as far as 820 feet (250 meters) away.

But there is hope as, according to the National Geographic Channel, Most shark attacks occur less than 100 feet or 30.5 m from the shore mainly around popular beaches in North America (especially Florida and Hawaii), Australia, and South Africa. 
3 Shark attack diagram Mathspig

4 shark attack maths mathspig

If average swimmer Dav is 100 ft (30 m) offshore and starts swimming when he sees the shark 820 ft (250 m) away, he would swim 63 ft (19.2 m) before the shark attacked. He is still 37 ft offshore. He might make it to shallow water. Or not!!!!

A Shark vs the World’s Fastest Swimmer

Again we will assume that the swimmer is 30m ( 100 ft) offshore when he sees the shark fin 250m (820 ft) away. But this time we will have the world’s fastest swimmer. This time we are talking Dav Holmes vs Shark!!!!!!!!!

5 shark attack Maths mathspig

If world champion swimmer Dav starts swimming when he saw the shark 820 ft (250 m) away, he would swim 163 ft (49.6 m) before the shark attacked. He would easily make it to shore before an attack. Dav would be swimming on sand.