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Learning Maths Outside the Classroom - Mathstastic @ Life

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 29 April 2008 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 21 October 2010 by ncetm_administrator

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Maths, Art & Magic - Mathstastic @ Life

Mathstastic is designed to be more than enrichment and enhancement for students. The whole project is designed to demonstrate the success of the Hands-on, Minds-on, Hearts-on approach to teachers.


The Centre for LIFE is the regional Science Centre for the North-east. It was founded as a millennium project and has now built up an international reputation as a provider of curriculum-linked science activities that are exciting and fun . The key to success has been to make the activities Hands-on, Minds-on and Hearts-on. We are all kinaesthetic learners to some extent as we would all rather do than listen. However, just doing something without some kind of intellectual engagement is very tedious. But even activities which require interaction and thought can be dull unless the context engages emotionally and the participants care about the results of their experiments. The Centre for LIFE hopes to apply the same thinking to Maths and eventually to all STEM subjects.

The result is Mathstastic, a project which will be available to schools in June 2008.

It will have three sections:

  • a circus of giant maths puzzles and games
  • a maths show
  • a choice of indoor and outdoor maths trails.
The circus has drawn on ideas from places as far apart as Cape Town, Copenhagen and Cardiff as well as some novel ideas derived in Newcastle. The 007 maths shows takes a look at the sort of maths every secret agent should know:
  • number theory to encrypt messages, crack codes and detect when a message has been corrupted;
  • topology to escape from being tied up
  • and a hefty dose of probability to win in casinos.
There are two maths trails:
The outdoor trail was designed by Noel Jackson but the indoor trail was designed by selected year eight pupils from eight separate schools in a maths G&T event in January.

All the activities are designed to show that maths is exciting, stimulating and much, much more than crunching numbers.

But Mathstastic is designed to be more than  enrichment and enhancement for students. The whole Mathstastic project is designed to demonstrate the success of the Hands-on, Minds-on, Hearts-on approach to teachers 
For more information about Mathstastic please call Noel Jackson (Head of Education at LIFE) on 0191 243 8211. To make a booking please phone 0191 243 8223.


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