Often numbers and shapes of mathematics give schoolchildren their most scary days. To dispel this fear around mathematics the students of Mathematics education have been organizing an annual event ‘Matrix’ which organises games, rangolis and employs several other creative ways to help school and college students fight their fear of mathematics. This time ‘Matrix’- the mathematics education society of Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC) organized its second event, Matrix 1.1, on 29th and 30th March 2017. The two day long fest featured several games, activities, competitions and film screening which saw participation from students from across various colleges of Delhi.
Day one of the fest begun with Rangoli (KOLAM), a team affair which was judged on the basis of design and creativity. This was followed by a talk titled “Let’s discuss Math” by Prof. V. Ravichandran, head of department (Mathematics), University of Delhi. After a small break, the next competition that followed was ‘Tangram & Pentominoes’ which required players to arrange tans to form a given shape in the first round and form rectangles of given order using pentominoes in the second round. The participants were pitted against their own self and were evaluated through both rounds. The day drew its closure with a small snacks party.
Day two of the fest started with the events ‘Dimension Destination’ and ‘Tarsia Puzzle’. While one required participating pairs to cross a maze using mathematical vocabulary and relied heavily on players’ coordination with each other, the latter demanded sound conceptual knowledge and members to work in teams in order to emerge victorious. Another innovative highlight of second day was “Mathematical Storyboard” competition, where teams had to think of a mathematical story and posturize it with help of handmade storyboards. A treasure hunt based on guessing answers and deriving directions from clues that were completely mathematical was organised and had the maximum participation and participants jostling around to find the treasure.
Apart from these competitive events, several others were also held throughout the day. Games like ‘Magic Polygon Puzzles’-requiring players to arrange natural numbers along the sides of given polygons to get a specific sum, ‘Mathematical Ludo’-incorporating strategy and binary operations, ‘Hope to 100’- a game of luck and content knowledge, screening of inspirational movie based on life of women mathematicians titled ‘Hidden Figures’ kept the visitors engaged throughout the day. The event drew its curtains with musical performances and prize distribution ceremony.
With a smiling face a participant replied that “We need more of such events in many other colleges and schools, because it’s in schools where children are most haunted by mathematics” when we asked him about his experience of the event. Priyankesh Dixit, one of the organisers of the event said ” We at Matrix look towards hosting more such events in future and would try to keep working for removing the dread and stigma associated with mathematics in society.”
Image Credits: Matrix Team
With inputs from Robin Sharma and Priyankesh Dixit