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Summer SAVY Session 5, Day 1, Mathematicians in History: Patterns, Order, and Relationships

Posted by on Monday, July 17, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day 1:  What a great start to our discoveries today! Pythagoras and Archimedes were our featured mathematicians. We learned when and where they lived using maps and timelines, as well as a little about each of their lives.  What activities or problems got them thinking mathematically?  What were their habits or interests?  What types of problems do we notice at home and school today?  Mathematicians study patterns and develop order from the patterns by examining relationships.  Relationships are everywhere and they are powerful.  Everything is related in some way, and if we look closely, we can discover the rules that govern relationships.  We observed that many ancient mathematicians related to philosophy in their thinking as well.  We observed the Platonic Solids and will return to these in our discussions. Check out the interesting video below.  

Pythagoras got us to think about how certain numbers or quantities of things can be arranged in certain ways to make shapes.  We can make all types of observations about numbers by studying the shapes associated with them. We had fun working with square, oblong, and triangle numbers, and we circled back to a hypotenuse puzzle!  Archimedes is famous for his very clever problem-solving involving mass and volume using water. We observed this in the story of the King’s Crown and will do some investigating ourselves tomorrow.  We’ll try our own hand at dunking some things in water to observe his principle of buoyancy and work with some calculations to make predictions.  Don’t be surprised if your child wants to continue this work in the bathtub just like Archimedes did! Mathematics is the study of structure, space, change, and quantities. What can we determine about a structure we observe including its position in a space (in relationship to a water level)? Would we observe a change if it were made of a different material?  What can we measure or quantify?  

I was so impressed with the students’ scholarship, focus, and perseverance today as well as their learning.  A scholar engages appropriately both verbally and non-verbally.  A scholar communicates ideas with clarity and respects the ideas of others.  If you want to enjoy a few videos to prompt conversation, I’ve listed a few links below.  Enjoy!  (Don’t forget to send a snack for your child in the afternoon?)  

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow! 

Platonic Solids 

Mrs. Byrd