Maths Explains our Experiences in and Out of this World
Ideas to inspire students to explore topics around the world and beyond with mathematics.
What's that, you ask?
We are all familiar with jamming phenomena in various transportation systems, such as cars and buses, but have you ever seen it in ants? Interdisciplinary research on jamming of self-driven particles has been recently termed jamology. It is based on mathematical physics and also includes engineering applications. So, if you want to be a jamologist, then you might become a traffic engineer or a zoologist.
In this video, Dr Katsuhiro Nishinari of the University of Tokyo discusses the simple mathematical models that support his research into traffic jams.
This lesson plan uses the movie Hidden Figures as stimulus. Students learn what it is like to 'make new mathematics' when 'there is no formula', and experience what it takes to use mathematics they are familiar with (e.g. shapes, graphs) to solve a new problem: communicating with someone who can't see what you see, and can't ask any questions.
Plus magazine opens a door to the world of maths, with all its beauty and applications, by providing articles from the top mathematicians and science writers on topics as diverse as art, medicine, cosmology and sport. You can read the latest mathematical news on the site every week, listen to podcasts and keep up-to-date by subscribing to Plus (on email, RSS, Facebook, iTunes or Twitter).
Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT) is a national not-for-profit organisation that holds mathematics and informatics competitions, administers enrichment activities, conducts workshops for students and teachers, and publishes books on mathematical enrichment for Australian and international students.
Cool Australia provides real world learning activities and professional development with a sustainability focus. Select mathematics activities using the subject filter. It is free to register and receive their newsletter.
NASA's Space Math website is filled with wonderful resources, especially datasets, for use in the classroom. Their free downloadable books offer space maths programs, according to year level, e.g. calculating the height of a cloud, and tracking a sea turtle by satellite.
NRICH caters for teachers of different age groups. The best way to find resources is to search by topic, and narrow down to the most relevant information using the index at the top of the results of your search.