Learning about the many ways that math is part of ordinary patterns and everyday life is what makes an elementary school’s Imagineering Math event so much fun.
Some of the challenges at Bethel Elementary’s event include figuring out what Spirograph gear creates the most petals, or the fewest number of squares, octagons and triangles needed to fill a large rectangle.
“It’s pretty fascinating,” said Morgan Hamer, 11. “We get to learn about all the different ways things are mathematical.”
Imagineering Math was created by fifth-grade math teacher Patricia Smith as a means of helping her students see and understand math as it applies in real life.
“I believe my students are gaining a confidence to think mathematically, to problem solve, to be willing to ask questions,” said Smith. She also says the students learn “to be willing to make mistakes and try again, to persevere”.