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Early Years Magazine - Issue 10: Maths to share - CPD for you and your colleagues

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 26 July 2010 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 10 August 2010 by ncetm_administrator


Early Years Magazine - Issue 10busker - photograph by tochis used under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic licence

Maths to share - CPD for you and your colleagues

Maths Busking

With the summer holidays upon us, this month’s offering is a bit quirky. Have you heard about ‘maths busking’? Sara Santos, Matt Parker and Steve Humble are the brains behind this new phenomenon. Santos is a maths communicator at the Royal Institution, Parker is a stand-up comedian and part-time maths teacher at Queen Mary, University of London, and Humble is otherwise known as ‘Dr Maths’. Their aim is to persuade others to share their enthusiasm for mathematics by using the techniques of street entertainers.

A typical maths busking performance could involve guessing someone’s birth date by holding up five cards of repeated numbers and getting the person in question to identify on which of the cards it falls. Or, asking a volunteer to wear a waistcoat and a pair of handcuffs and try to turn the waistcoat inside out. Solutions to these particular problems involve binary numbers and topography, but members of the audience will only know that if they ask. Performers wear distinctive yellow T-shirts declaring "Maths Busking" and willingly pass on the URL of a website that will give a rudimentary mathematical explanations and links to sites where people can learn much more, but they do not go into detailed explanations on the spot.

Already the buskers have performed at the national Big Bang in Manchester, Westminster Kingsway College, the Royal Society Summer Exhibition, and in a handful of other smaller venues. Other regional events are planned. In addition, they hold regular training days for school and university teachers and others interested in learning busking techniques. Read the article and watch the video on EducationGuardian.

The Maths Busking site has more information, including events near you - enjoy!

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