Mathematics from 'La Ville Rose' - Exploring all the possible things mathematics can be at the International School of Toulouse.
Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Inspired by this video from Vi Hart on 'Angle - a trons', year 10 students today set about making some of their own paper protractors! It is a fascinating exercise and a brilliant way to look at geometrical reasoning and proof. No measuring is done here, just reasoning. For example, starting with a square piece of paper and by folding, how many different angles can you make? How can you prove they are what you say they are? What do you have to assume as true to start with? It is surprising what can be achieved by combining a simple set of logical steps. For example, folding an angle in half or in to thirds will create that fraction of the angle. Once you know some angles you can figure out the others using a series of 'If Then' statements. A running theme through the exercise was the notion of considering how we go from axioms to theorems and how each theorem is dependent on the original axioms used to build it! Lovely, practical, engaging, and fun!