Most students who said “I can’t do maths’ when I was teaching, didn’t do maths. They talked, penned a tattoo on their arm. Or scribbled in the text book. Today they read texts or play games on their phones under table or fall asleep.

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The Solution:

There is no point arguing. Students must ‘see’ they can do maths.

Do something that grabs their attention, something counterintuitive. Here is one of the BEST revision projects ever for middle school maths students. Remember, the best way to learn something is to teach it.

Mathspig just loves this Fluid Geometry Mural by artist Clint Fulkerson. Here is a Speed Clip of Flulkerson at the University of Maine Art Gallery 2012.

Mathspig went crazy trying to produce her own Fluid Geometry Mural. These guys are artists. But your middle school maths class can use a simple method (See GIF below) and make a fab mural on a white/black board or down a school hallway. This is a great end of year/semester/pre-holidays project.

The reason for tackling such a project is to engage students, who are otherwise not interested in maths as well as do some whole school PR for maths. The mural WILL be noticed. And it makes maths look COOL.You will find more interesting Fluid Geometry works by Clint Fulkerson here.

Mathspig loves this ‘Street Art’ time lapse clip made by projective geometry students at the Technical University, Munich.

SO … thought Mathspig … lets do it! Two days later Mathspig’s eyes nearly crossed trying to locate the Vanishing Point (below), which helps artists draw 3D images. It didn’t work due to the angle of elevation of the camera.

SO .. rethink needed. (See project 1 & 2 below)

Maths Meets Street Art:

Project 1

Students can draw this ‘hole in the earth’ by Circle/Line Art School on paper fairly quickly. The aim here is to practice 3D street Art.

Maths Meets Street Art:

Project 2: The BIG ONE

Students can draw this ‘concrete hole’ by MiltonCor on paper using a ruler, set square and pencils. Then they have to scale it up to a size large enough for them to sit on the steps. The class can the ‘concrete hole’ in chalk in the school yard. Basic shading only is required, not the shading detail shown in this video.

Finally, students can take a photo of themselves sitting on the ‘steps’ with maths books beside them.

Here is the AMAZING thing … according to designer Tom Wujec, who gives the TED lecture (below), the most successful tower builders are not business school graduates or CEOs, but kindergarten students. The stats are in the video. So here is the challenge. Can you build a structure higher than the towers built by kindergarten kids?

Towers built by Kindergarten Kids AVERAGE HEIGHT = 71 CM or 28 INCH

HIGHEST TOWER from 70 challenges = 99 CM or 39 INCH

The Tom Wujec TED talk is aimed at business ‘team building’. Nevertheless, it is an interesting challenge and fun too.

TAKE 2:

In fact, the Marshmallow Tower has been around for a very long time. This challenge for middle school kids involves as many marshmallows and sticks of spaghetti needed to build the biggest tower. This is also a great end of year/semester/week challenge.

Mathspig posted this picture of an awesome marshmallow tower here.